VVER-TOI reactor installed at unit 2 of Russia’s Kursk-II

5 December 2023

The VVER-TOI reactor pressure vessel (RPV) has been installed in the central hall of unit 2 at Russia’s Kursk-II NPP. The operation was overseen by Andrei Petrov. Rosatom First Deputy Director General for Nuclear Energy and President of Atomstroyexport JSC.

“Currently, Kursk-II is the only nuclear construction site in the Russian Federation that is in the active phase of construction,” Petrov noted. “We are faced with the task of developing the Russian nuclear park in order to strengthen the country’s production and technological potential. General technological understanding involving the general contractor, customer and suppliers must be synchronised and proceed without delay. Rosatom and its enterprises are making active efforts in this direction.”

Installation of the RPV marks the active stage of installation of all primary circuit equipment signalling the countdown to commissioning. Before installing the RPV, specialists carried out the acceptance inspection in accordance with all regulatory requirements. The equipment was installed ahead of the construction schedule.

“The installation of the VVER-TOI reactor vessel is an important event not only for specialists of the Kursk NPP, but also for the entire nuclear industry,” said Kursk NPP Director Alexander Uvakin. “In the entire history of nuclear energy development, there has never been such a well-thought-out project aimed at enhancing the reliability and safety of NPPs. As we watch, a turning point in energy development is taking place to an innovative future. We have a lot of work ahead of us. By the end of 2023 at unit 2 we must complete installation of the main equipment of the primary circuit – steam generators and a pressure compensator – and install the dome part of the outer containment shell. This will enable us to begin work on welding the main circulation pipelines.”

Oleg Shperle, Vice-President of Atomstroyexport JSC and project director for the construction of Kursk-II explained that installation of the RPV takes place in several stages. “Initially, the equipment is lifted onto the transport portal by a Liebherr crawler crane and moved inside the containment zone at a level of 26.3 metres using a special transport trolley. Then the 340-tonne structure undergoes edging: using a polar crane, specialists change the position of the equipment from horizontal to vertical before installing it in place at 11.3 metres into the reactor shaft. The shaft is designed for the reactor vessel to fit tightly on the support ring. The maximum permissible deviation during installation is one tenth of a millimetre.”

The work was carried out in stages over three days by specialists from the contracting organisation – the Kursk branch of MSU No 5 of JSC Energospetsmontazh involving a team of about 70 people.

Kursk II will replace the currently operating Kursk NPP, which comprises four ageing RBMK reactors (one of which is already closed). Units 1&2, currently under construction, will have VVER-TOI reactors – a development of the VVER-1200 reactor design. The VVER-TOI has increased power and improved technical and economic indicators, as well as increased resistance to extreme external influences. Currently work is being carried out at 156 facilities on the Kursk-II site. The number of construction and installation personnel is more than 8,500.

Image courtesy of Rosatom

Privacy Policy
We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.