Construction has begun of the building that will house a simulator of the unit 1 control panel at Russia’s Kalinin NPP in the Tver region. Construction workers have poured the first concrete into the foundation of the new Kalinin NPP Training Unit (UTP – Uchebno Trenirobochnovo Podrazdeleniya), which will house a full-scale simulator for practical training of personnel for unit 1. The building will be fitted with seven major pieces of equipment.

Kalinin NPP has four reactors. Units 1 and 2 are V-338 model VVER-1000s which began commercial operation in 1985 and 1987, respectively. Kalinin 3 and 4 are both 950 MWe V-320 model VVER-1000 reactors, which were completed in 2004 and 2012. Kalinin 1 received a 10-year licence extension to 2025 in 2014. In 2019 it underwent extensive modernisation and upgrading with the aim of extending its operating life to 2044.

Ruslan Alyev, Chief Engineer of the Kalinin NPP, explained that full-scale simulators make it possible to simulate various operating modes enabling personnel to acquire the skills needed in emergency situations. Until recently, units 1&2 shared a simulator. However, after the upgrade of unit 1 and the introduction of a modern interface for operator interaction with equipment on the control panel, it became clear that a separate simulator was needed.

"The full-scale simulator has already been manufactured and successfully tested at the site of the All-Russian Research Institute for the Operation of Nuclear Power Plants. Before the new simulator is put into operation, staff training will be carried out on a special analytical simulator," Alyev said.

The foundation is scheduled to be completed by May, and the building will be fully completed by the end of 2024. Then the builders will start laying utility services and finishing the premises. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2025.

"This is an important and significant event for the NPP and its personnel,” said Evgeny Kolesnichenko, Deputy Chief Engineer for Personnel Training at Kalinin NPP. “With the commissioning of the new training facility, Kalinin NPP will become the only four-unit NPP in Russia with VVER-1000 reactors, where each unit has its own full-scale simulator. "


Image: Visualisation of the simulator building (courtesy of Kalinin NPP)