On July 29, 2019, at 4:55 am, the innovative VVER-1200 reactor power block No.2 of the Novovoronezh NPP-2 (the Novovoronezh NPP 7th power block) reached 90% of its capacity. This means that the new 3+ generation power block has entered its next phase of low-power testing during the pilot production stage.
The pilot production is the final step before the power block is launched. This is a part of a large set of works, which is divided into sub-stages. The low-power testing includes trials at 40, 50, 75, 90 and 100% of the capacity.
‘We are now past the successful completion of a number of checks for the launching power block at 75% of its designated capacity. We have now moved to the next stage, which is another important milestone. What we still have to undertake are trials at 90 and 100% of the reactor facility’s capacity. The next step is a 15-days’ full-scale block trial at its designated parameters. This will mark a set of verifications that we held when we subsequently increased the capacity of the reactor assembly’, Vladimir Kazanskiy, the deputy chief engineer of the Novovoronezh NPP responsible for new power blocks’ construction, said.
Once the nominal capacity is reached, the power block undergoes warranty (acceptance trials and full-scale tests, which is then followed by the power block’s commissioning.
Vladimir Ruslanovich stressed that no issues were reported about the launching power block operated at 40, 50 and 75% of its designated capacity. This is a strong evidence that the installation and the pre-commissioning activities at the new power block were completed properly.
According to the schedule, the equipment and technology systems of the power block will be tested at 90% of its designated capacity for six days. During this time, the team of specialists will conduct steam generators’ separating trials, thermohydraulic trials of the shaft volume, the upper unit and the control and protection system drives, steam generator heating tests, etc.
Since its power start-up, the power block has delivered over 683.5 million kilowatt-hours of electric power, which is compatible to the annual output of a modern wind farm. Besides, this amount of electric power is enough to power 43 high-tech small nuclear power cities like Novovoronezh for three months.
It is important to note that the power start-up, the first connection of the Novovoronezh NPP-2 2nd power block’s, took place on May 1, 2019. Rostekhnadzor issued its license for pilot production operation of the Novovoronezh NPP 2nd power block on June 3, 2019, which was followed by the equipment trials at different modes.
Currently, the 7th power block equipment trials run at 90% of its capacity. Following each capacity milestone, the power block undergoes scheduled trials with load dumping.
The works run according to the schedule, there are no delays.
The new power block will be launched operational in late 2019.
Novovoronezh NPP is a branch of Rosenergoatom JSC (a part of the largest Division of Rosatom State Corporation – Electric Power Division). The Plant is situated on the River Don bank 42 km South of Voronezh. This is the first NPP of Russia with VVER type reactors (Water-Water Power Reactors of containment type with water under pressure). Three reactors of the Plant are the main ones – the prototypes of the serial power reactors. The first power unit was commissioned in 1964, the second one – in 1969, the third one – in 1971, the fourth one – in 1972, and the fifth one – in 1980.
The power units No 1 and No 2 were shut down in 1984 and 1990, respectively. The power unit No 3 was shut down in 2016 for the decommissioning events. The power unit No 4 was shut down for modernization works. The power unit No 1 of Novovoronezh NPP-2 was commissioned on 27 February, 2017. The power unit No 2 is in the stage of commissioning works.