Steam generator modules replaced at Beloyarsk 3

3 October 2023

Specialists from Uralatomenergoremont (a branch of JSC Atomenergoremont, part Rosatom’s nuclear utility Rosenergoatom) have completed work on replacing eight steam generator modules for the sixth coolant circulation loop the BN-600 fast reactor at unit 3 of Russia’s Beloyarsk NPP. The work is being carried out as part of the mid-term repair in accordance with the schedule. Each section of the steam generator consists of three modules: evaporation, reheating and main superheater. So far 17 of 25 modules planned for replacement over three years have already installed.

“Replacing the evaporation modules of steam generators is one of the key steps in modernising the unit as part of extending its service life,” said Uralatomenergoremont chief engineer Alexey Solovyov. “Before installation, new modules are subjected to incoming inspection, checking the equipment’s compliance with all technical requirements. They are secured in a rack in the turbine room of the power unit, before a special crane located on the roof moves the modules from the turbine room to the steam generator room - to the installation site.”

The 16-metre-long steam generator design, with the height of a five-story building, weighs 20 tonnes. By the end of 2025, a further eight modules will need to be replaced. Also, as part of the modernisation, during the repair, three gas cooling pumps of the fourth, fifth and sixth generators will be replaced.

The BN-600 sodium-cooled fast reactor at Beloyarsk 3 was closed in August for maintenance and upgrading work to extend the life of the reactor to 2040. The BN-600, which began operation in 1980, was the world’s first commercial fast reactor. It has since been joined by the larger BN-800 at Beloyarsk 4, which began operation in 2015. Preparatory work for the construction of an even larger BN-1200 fast reactor has been completed at Beloyarsk 5. Rosatom plans to obtain a construction licence for the BN-1200 in 2027.

Image courtesy of Rosatom

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