Kursk II-1 reactor vessel delivered

20 September 2021

The reactor pressure vessel for the first new reactor under construction at Russia's Kursk II nuclear power plant has been delivered to site. Made from nickel-free steel it can give the plant service life of up to 100 years, Rosatom said.

The reactor pressure vessel approaches the Kursk II site after an 1800 kilometre journey (Image: Rosatom)

The heavy component, described by Rosatom as the "heart" of the power plant, was made at Atommash's factory in Volgodonsk region, requiring a journey of 1500 kilometres by river and 300 kilometres by road. The VVER-TOI reactor vessel weighs 340 tons and is 12 metres long.

Kursk II is a new power plant under construction, intended to replace the four older units of Kursk, which will retire from service from 2022 to 2031. The new units are the VVER-TOI design by Gidropress, which are optimised with a focus on digital manufacturing and operation.

Rosatom said the component is made of nickel-free steel, the performance of which is not affected by radiation or at high temperatures. It has only four welded joints, compared to six on the VVER-1200 model, which further reduces its susceptibility to ageing through intense radiation exposure. "This will allow, after 60 years of operation, to extend the service life of the hull by another 40 years," said Andrei Osharin, first deputy director for construction of new units at Kursk nuclear power plant.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News