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First concrete poured at Russia’s Kursk II

First concrete was poured yesterday into what will become the foundations for the nuclear island buildings of unit 1 of the Kursk II nuclear power plant in western Russia. This is the first of the VVER-TOI (typical optimised, with enhanced information) design nuclear reactors.

More than 16,000 cubic meters of self-compacting concrete mix will be laid in the foundation slab of the reactor building. The work will be carried out in a continuous cycle, with constant quality control of the mixture. The planned completion date for concreting is June this year, Rosatom said.

Kursk II will initially consist of two 1200 MWe VVER-TOI units that will each add 25% to reactor capacity compared with units of the VVER-1000 design. The design also provides for a doubling of the service life of reactor equipment – from 30 to 60 years, with the possibility of extending this to 80 years, Rosatom said. In addition, the increased proportion of automation means the number of personnel required has been reduced by 30-40%.

VVER-TOI units are not only connected with Kursk II, but represent the future of Russia’s nuclear power industry as a whole, Vyacheslav Fedyukin, director of Kursk NPP, said. The construction costs of Kursk II this year will total more than RUB27 billion ($430 million), which is RUB10 billion more than last year, he added.

Kursk II will replace four RBMK units currently operating at the site and commissioning of the first two Kursk II units will be synchronised with the closure of Kursk 1 and 2.

AEM Technology announced earlier this month it had completed the manufacture of the bottom of the reactor vessel for unit 1 of Kursk II.

Source: World Nuclear News