First concrete for unit 2 of Russia’s Kursk II NPP has been poured two weeks ahead of schedule, Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom announced on 15 April. Andrei Petrov, Director General of nuclear utility Rosenergoatom (part of Rosatom) said this was a "considerable milestone" for the project. "Last April the first concrete of the nuclear basemat of unit 1 at Kursk II was poured, and now we have begun the main construction works at unit 2 ahead of schedule." The 1255 MWe VVER-TOI reactors being built at Kursk II are Generation III+ power units developed as an evolution of the VVER-1200 project. The design offers improved safety measures, including an increased margin of safety from extreme impacts and ability to withstand earthquakes, and is equipped with modern control systems and diagnostics, Rosatom said.
Kursk II will also be the first Russian nuclear power plant to have a digital automated system for managing costs and scheduling during the construction process. Construction timeframe, costs and operational costs are expected to show a "significant reduction" for the VVER-TOI compared with Generation III+ units such as Novovoronezh II units 1 and 2 and Leningrad II units 1 and 2, Rosatom said. Compared with the previous generation power units (VVER-1000s), the VVER-TOI is 25% more powerful and the service life of the main equipment has doubled.
First concrete for Kursk II unit 1 was poured in April 2018, and Rosatom on 10 April announced completion of the installation of the first tier of the unit's inner containment. The installation of the 15 metre x 9 metre reinforced blocks making up the structure - each weighing 50 tonnes - took almost a month. The blocks must now be joined into a single construction, before concrete is poured into the annular walls to a depth of 4 metres.
Kursk II is a replacement station the units of the current Kursk station (RBMK reactors) which are approaching the end of their design lives. Commissioning of the first two units with new VVER-TOI reactors at Kursk II will be synchronised with the decommissioning Kursk 1&2.