A metal structure for Akkuyu 1’s polar crane is lifted into place (Image: Akkuyu Nükleer)
The operation to mount the circular bridge crane – a key part of the reactor building that will be used at all stages of the plant’s life cycle – took about four hours to complete.
A Liebherr LR 13000 crane was used to lift the polar crane’s components into at an elevation of 38.5 metres. The metal structures of the polar crane bridge – weighing 282 tonnes – have now been installed, said Sergei Butсkikh, Akkuyu Nükleer’s first deputy CEO and director of the NPP under Construction. The completed crane will weigh around 500 tonnes.
The polar crane will be used for installation of the reactor compartment internal containment dome, mounting process equipment, and preparation for water circulation with the open reactor, the company said. After the plant starts up, the crane will be used in transportation and process activities including used during the loading and unloading of nuclear fuel. The crane will be able to turn through 360° along a circular rail track enabling it to operate at any point in the central hall of the reactor building.
“The mounting of the polar crane is one of the key events at unit 1,” Butсkikh said. “It is very important that the installation of the crane was completed in due time; this will allow us to follow the schedule for further installation operations in the reactor building,” he added. Russian and Turkish specialists were involved in the assembly of the crane structures, which is carried out in several coordinated stages.
Akkuyu’s polar crane was manufactured by Tyazhmash Plant in Syzran, Russia, and the disassembled crane was delivered to the construction site in June.
The Akkuyu project in the southern Mersin province is Turkey’s first nuclear power plant and is being built, owned and operated by Russia’s Rosatom under a 2010 intergovernmental agreement between Russia and Turkey. Construction of the first of four 1200 MWe AES-2006 units at the site began in 2018, with units 2 and 3 in April 2020 and March 2021, respectively, and the final unit, unit 4, in June this year. The first unit is due to start operations in 2023, which is the centenary of the founding of the Turkish Republic.
Source: World Nuclear News