Primary circuit welding starts at Rooppur 1

16 December 2021

Welding of the primary circuit has begun at the first unit of Bangladesh's Rooppur nuclear power plant. The work was heralded as "one of the key events in the construction of a nuclear power plant" by Russia's state nuclear company Rosatom, which is building the plant.

One of Energospetsmontazh's elite welders (Image: Rosatom)

The primary circuit connects the main components of Rooppur 1, a VVER-1200 pressurised water reactor. It makes sure the heat produced by the reactor core is continuously carried away to steam generators, by way of main circulation pumps. Rooppur 1's reactor pressure vessel and four steam generators were put in position in October and November, respectively.

Measuring 85cm wide, the primary circuit pipes are forged from metal 7cm thick. The primary circuit is 160 metres long and includes 260 tonnes of pipes and other metal structures. Connecting it all up requires manual welding of 28 joints.

"The safety and efficiency of the power unit depends on the quality of welded joints," said Alexey Deriy, director of the Rooppur construction project and vice-president of Atomstroyexport, the Rosatom subsidiary managing the work. The welding is being carried out by another Rosatom subsidiary, Energospetsmontazh.

Rooppur 1 started construction in 2018 and it is scheduled to begin generating power in 2023 or 2024. Unit 2 at the plant is one year behind and Bangladesh has declared it would like to start on a second nuclear power plant once Rooppur is in operation.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News