The housing for the core melt localisation device has been installed at unit 2 of the Akkuyu nuclear plant being built by Rosatom in Turkey’s Mersin Province, Akkuyu Nuklear announced on 14 December.
The height of the core catcher shell is 5.8 metres, the diameter 6.1 metres, and the weight 169 tons. It is the main element of the melt localisation device, which is a container that, in the event of an emergency, will reliably keep nuclear fuel inside the pressurised reactor building and prevent it from entering the environment. It is partially filled with a “sacrificial” material, which will stop the chain reaction and keep the molten fuel in a stable state.
"The melt localisation device is a unique development by Russian nuclear scientists, a key element of the passive safety system of the nuclear power unit,” said Sergey Butskikh, first deputy general director and director of the nuclear power plant. “First, the casing was installed in the design position, and the installation operation was completed by careful control of the measurements of the casing position at the bottom of the reactor shaft."
He added that the installation was completed in accordance with the construction schedule for the Akkuyu nuclear power plant. The filler will now be installed in the vessel; a reactor shaft will be erected around it, and once concreting is completed the console truss will be installed. The next important stage in the construction of the unit 2 reactor building is installation of the first tier of the inner containment into the design position.
The 4800MWe Akkuyu NPP will comprise four VVER-1200 reactors and is expected to meet about 10% of Turkey's electricity needs. Rosatom’s first build-own-operate venture, the $20bn project is based on an inter-governmental agreement signed between Russia and Turkey in May 2010.