The reactor pressure vessel (RPV) has been installed at unit 1 of Bangladesh's Rooppur nuclear power plant, marking a significant milestone for the VVER-1200 reactor project being constructed by Russia's Rosatom.
Installation of the 334t RPV started on 14 September and was completed on 10 October, marked by a visit from Rosatom director general Alexey Likhachev and witnessed on video link by Bangladesh’s prime minister Sheikh Hasina.
The RPV was manufactured by the Volgodonsk branch of Russia’s AEM-Technologies.
During the installation process, a Liebherr-11350 heavy caterpillar crane raised the RPV to the transportation lock, inside the reactor building containment. Then, the reactor vessel was moved to the central hall of the reactor building on a special transportation trolley. Finally, a polar crane was used to put the reactor pressure vessel in a vertical position and install it on the support ring in the reactor pit.
Likhachev emphasised the significance of the installation, underlining that the well-coordinated work of the Rosatom specialists and their Bangladeshi colleagues was bringing the country closer to its goal of developing a nuclear power industry.
“Today Rooppur NPP has witnessed the important milestone of the year of 2021 – the reactor pressure vessel of Unit No 1 has been installed in the design position. The high qualification of the specialists and the thorough preparation ensured the performance of the works with a pinpoint precision," Likhachev said.
"Rooppur NPP project that is being implemented in Bangladesh has accumulated the best Russian practice and dozens of years of experience and scientific thought," he added.
The Rooppur plant is being built by Rosatom on the eastern bank of the Ganges River in Bangladesh’s Pabna district about 160 km northwest of the capital city of Dhaka. It will comprise two VVER-1200 reactors: Rooppur 1 is scheduled to start operating 2023, followed by Rooppur 2 in 2024.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said: “Today is a day of joy and pride for us as the reactor pressure vessel is being set up at unit-1 of Rooppur Nuclear Plant, and by this we confirm our strong presence in the nuclear world so far as peaceful use of nuclear technology is concerned.”
“This power station will help us achieve SDG goals by 2030 in line with our development plan and facilitate graduation to a developed nation in 2041,” she added.
Photo: Rosatom director general Alexey Likhachev marks installation of the RPV at Rooppur on 10 October