All four steam generators have been installed at unit 2 of Russia’s Kursk-II NPP. Installation was carried out through the opening for the transport gateway. The equipment was lifted with a Caterpillar to the transport portal, then loaded onto a specialised transportation trolley and delivery to the central hall of the reactor building at a height of 26.3 metres along the rail track. A polar crane was then used to install the steam generators in place.

The design of Kursk-II uses an improved layout of steam generators where they are parallel to each other. This makes it possible to use steam generators of a longer length, significantly simplify the design of the area where the reactor installation is located, as well as reducing the volume of concrete required, thereby cutting the construction time by about 20%.

“Compared with steam generators used with VVER-1000 and VVER-1200 reactors, the length of the VVER-TOI steam generator case has been increased by one metre to 15 metres,” said Andrei Osharin, First Deputy Director for the Construction of New Units at Kursk NPP. “The mass is 355 tonnes, which has increased their capacity. The steam capacity was increased by 50 tonnes per hour.”

Kursk II will replace the currently operating Kursk NPP, which comprises four ageing RBMK reactors (one of which is already closed). Units 1&2, currently under construction, will have VVER-TOI reactors – a development of the VVER-1200 reactor design. The VVER-TOI has increased power and improved technical and economic indicators, as well as increased resistance to extreme external influences. Currently work is being carried out at 156 facilities on the Kursk-II site. The number of construction and installation personnel is more than 8,500.

Image: Installation of one of the four steam generators at unit 2 of Russia’s Kursk-II NPP (courtesy of Kursk NPP)