Russia pours first concrete for second Kursk II unit

15 April 2019

Main construction work for the second unit at Kursk II in Russia has begun two weeks ahead of schedule. The site in Western Russia is the first to use the VVER-TOI (typical optimised, with enhanced information) reactor design.

Kursk II unit 1's first inner containment ring has been installed (Image: Rosatom)

Pouring of the first cubic metre of concrete into what will become the base plate of unit 2's reactor building is a "considerable milestone" for the project, Rosenergoatom Director General Andrei Petrov said. He talked about series construction of the reactors: "Last April the first concrete of the nuclear basemat of unit number 1 at Kursk II was poured. And now we start main construction works at unit number 2 ahead of schedule."

The 1255 MWe VVER-TOI - described by Petrov as Russia's "most advanced" modern nuclear reactor - is a Generation III+ power unit and was developed using technical results from the VVER-1200 project. The design offers improved safety measures, including an increased margin of safety from extreme impacts and ability to withstand earthquakes, and is equipped with modern control systems and diagnostics, Rosatom said.

Kursk II will also be the first Russian nuclear power plant to have a digital automated system for managing costs and scheduling during the construction process. Construction timeframe, costs and operational costs are expected to show a "significant reduction" for the VVER-TOI in comparison to Generation III+ units such as Novovoronezh II units 1 and 2 and Leningrad II units 1 and 2, Rosatom said.

First concrete for Kursk II unit 1 was poured in April 2018, and Rosatom on 10 April announced completion of the installation of the first section of the unit's inner containment. The installation of the 15 metre x 9 metre reinforced blocks making up the structure - each weighing 50 tonnes - took almost a month. The blocks must now be joined into a single construction, before concrete is poured into the annular walls to a depth of 4 metres.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News