Works Begin at Second Unit of Russia’s Kursk II Nuclear Power Plant

Russian nuclear power company Rusenergoatom has started main construction work for the second unit at the Kursk II power plant, two weeks ahead of schedule, reports. The site in Western Russia is the first to use the VVER-TOI reactor design, designed by state nuclear corporation Rosatom.

“Pouring of the first cubic meter of concrete into what will become the base plate of unit 2’s reactor building is a considerable milestone for the project,” Rosenergoatom’s chief executive Andrei Petrov said. “Last April the first concrete of the nuclear basement of unit number 1 at Kursk II was poured. And now we start main construction works at unit number 2 ahead of schedule.”

The 1255 MWe VVER-TOI – described by Petrov as Russia’s “most advanced” modern nuclear reactor – is a Generation III+ power unit and was developed using technical results from the VVER-1200 project. The design offers improved safety measures, including an increased margin of safety from extreme impacts and ability to withstand earthquakes, and is equipped with modern control systems and diagnostics, Rosatom said.

Kursk II will also be the first Russian nuclear power plant to have a digital automated system for managing costs and schedule during the construction process. First concrete for Kursk II unit 1 was poured in April 2018, and Rosatom on 10 April announced the completion of the installation of the first section of the unit’s inner containment.

The installation of the 15-meter x 9 meter reinforced blocks making up the structure – each weighing 50 tons – took almost a month. The blocks must now be joined into a single construction before concrete is poured into the annular walls to a depth of 4 meters.