Balakovo steam generators prepared for dismantling

09 July 2024

Workers at Russia's Balakovo nuclear power plant have removed the first of four used steam generators from a storage facility and prepared it to be transported for dismantling and disposal.

(Image: Rosenergoatom)

The participants in the pilot project for the transportation and disposal of used steam generators of the PGV-1000 M type were the plant itself, FSUE RADON, OOO OKB Spetstyazhproekt and the Balakovo branch of JSC Atomenergoremont (Rosatom's Electric Power Division).

The used steam generators at the Balakovo plant - each weighing 322 tonnes - have been kept in a special storage facility for more than 30 years. Immediately after their removal from the power unit, they were chemically washed inside and decontaminated outside. Lead shot was poured into the connectors of the primary circuit to act as a biological protection. All connectors were plugged and welded, after which a protective paint and varnish coating was applied to the steam generators.

(Image: Rosenergoatom)

To implement the innovative project, a set of design programmes and solutions for the extraction of oversized metal equipment was developed, and a package of organisational documentation for its equipment and transportation, processing and disposal was prepared. Also, during the project in Balakovo, the bottom of the Volga River was dredged and the berth from which the steam generators will be transported on a barge was strengthened.

"To clear the way for removing the steam generators from the cells where they had been standing for a long time, the storage wall was dismantled," said Evgeny Poryadchenko, Deputy Head of the Reactor Equipment Repair Shop at Balakovoatomenergoremont. "Then the extracted equipment was placed on rails and delivered to the Balakovo NPP heavy equipment site. Using the SBL portal system, each steam generator was moved to a 14-axle platform with air suspension for transportation to the Volga berth."

(Image: Rosenergoatom)

"Each steam generator that we extracted from the storage facility underwent a thorough radiation inspection and sealing," noted Dmitry Izotov, Deputy Chief Engineer for Radiation Protection at Balakovo NPP. "The equipment is absolutely safe, it can be transported unpackaged by road and water transport."

Within the framework of the project, it is planned to send three more PGV-1000 M steam generators from the Balakovo plant for disposal.

Rosenergoatom noted that a significant portion of the metal remaining after processing of the components is planned to be reused in industrial production. 

Researched and written by World Nuclear News