Atommash, the Volgodonsk branch of AEM-Technologies (part of Rosatom’s mechanical engineering division Atomenergomash) has started a long-cycle operation to manufacture the bottom of the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) for unit 3 of the Akkuyu NPP under construction in Turkey.
The elliptical bottom of the reactor is manufactured in several stages from a seamless forged billet in the form of a tube 6 metres long, with an outer diameter of 2.5 metres, and weighing 96 tons.
At the procurement site, specialists with the help of oxygen-gas cutting equipment began cutting of the component. For this, guides were installed inside the workpiece, along which the gas-cutting apparatus could move. Using natural gas and oxygen, the torch can punch through the metal 300mm thickness making an even cut. The plant's specialists have improved the type of cutter nozzle, reducing the cutting time from eight hours to two.
The component was then sent for annealing to a thermal furnace where it was held for five hours at a temperature of 620 degrees C. Following quality control measures, it will be sent to the heat-pressing section, where the pipe will first be unbent, and then the bottom of the RPV will be stamped.
Also on 7 September, Akkuyu Nuklear, the project company for the Akkuyu NPP, said another group of 24 Turkish students had been selected to study at the Peter the Great St Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) as part of the training programme for plant operators. The students with a bachelor degrees in heat power & heat engineering and electric power & electrical engineering will be trained at the university for two years. The language of instruction is English. In parallel, the students will undergo a Russian language training programme.
The students are provided with scholarships, free housing, medical insurance and annual air tickets. After receiving a master's degree from SPbPU, they will be employed at the Akkuyu NPP. Since the personnel training programme began in 2011, 186 Turkish specialists who graduated from Russian universities have joined the Akkuyu NPP team. Currently, 85 students are studying at the Russian National Research Nuclear University (NRNU MEPhI) and SPbPU.
An intergovernmental agreement between Turkey and Russia on cooperation in the construction and operation the Akkuyu NPP in Mersin province was signed in 2010. Rosatom is building four VVER-1200 reactors at Akkuyu, under a build-own-operate model. Construction of the first unit began in 2018, with start-up planned for 2023. The 4800MWe plant when completed is expected to meet about 10% of Turkey's electricity needs.
Photo: Manufacturing of the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) for unit 3 of the Akkuyu NPP (Credit: Atomenergomash)