Innovative 3+ gen. NPP units are built worldwide

6/5/19 6:00 AM
The last few months have been eventful in the nuclear power plant industry. Several implementations of 3+ gen. NPP units reached major milestones. The new NPP units using innovative technologies not only have better economic figures than their predecessor, but via their active and passive safety features provide the most effective protection. Such NPP units will be built in Paks in order to provide climate friendly electricity at an affordable price for domestic population and economy following the decommission of the currently operating four NPP units.

Earlier this year Bulgaria decided to construct its second NPP further. According to the Bulgarian government’s report in March 2019, the construction of the second Bulgarian NPP can continue in 2020-2021. According to plans, the facility will be built in eight years. The Bulgarian Parliament authorized the government last June to continue the Belene project which will construct a 2000 MW NPP. Bulgaria currently has one operating NPP. The Kozloduy NPP, located on the banks of the Danube, has two 1000 MW, Soviet-manufactured NPP units, these provide 33% of the country’s electricity production.

There have been major progresses in Chinese NPP projects as well. The CNNC Chinese nuclear state concern and ASE, Engineering division of Rosatom state corporation signed a general agreement on 7 March regarding the 7th and 8th units of Tianwan NPP and a technical projet agreement regarding the 3rd and 4th units of Xudabao NPP. The four new 3+ gen. VVER units’ schedule has been already finalized: the construction of Tianwan-7 will start in May 2021, Xudabao-3 in October 2021, Tianwan-8 in March 2022 and Xudabao-4 in August 2022.

The 4th unit of the Russian-designed VVER-1000 Tianwan NPP was connected to the grid on 27 October 2018. The 3rd and 4th units of Tianwan were constructed with the help from Rosatom.

The construction of the Turkish NPP has also reached a major milestone in spring. The construction of four NPP units is planned here. The concrete was poured into the foundation of the first unit on 8 March 2019. Concrete works have been one of the most important events of the Akkuyu NPP this year. During the construction of the 1st unit the inner and outer wall of the double-walled reactor building will be built. In parallel with the construction, the the documentation for the implementation license is prepared for the Turkish nuclear authority. Turkey constructs its first NPP with the assistance of Rosatom.

It was reported back in April, the preparation for the startup of the first Belarusian NPP unit has been started. Two VVER-1200 units are being constructed at the Ostrovets site. The first unit’s construction started in November 2013, the second in April 2014, the former is expected to connect to the grid this year, the latter next year.

Also news from April, the selection of the site for the planned NPP of Uzbekistan has started. Russia and Uzbekistan signed a preliminary agreement in September 2018 for a cooperation in NPP construction. According to Rosatom’s report, the NPP will have two VVER-1200 units and the first one will start its commercial operation by 2028.

In the meantime several Russian NPP projects reached startup or operation phase. On 1 May 2019 the second unit of Novovoronezh-II was connected to the grid, and following the licence issued on 3 June by the Russian nuclear authority, the pre-commercial operation has started, therefore the unit already produces electricity for the grid. This is the third VVER-1200 unit in operation in the world.
The first of such units, the first unit o Novovoronezh-II was started back in 2016, and has generated 18,3 bn kWh electricity since. The second of such units – at another site – was put into operation in the Leningrad-II NPP, and since 2018 it generated 5,7 bn kWh electricity. The first unit of Leningrad-II was connected to the grid on 9 March 2018, started commercial operation in October 2018 and its electricity appeared on the market this year. Leningrad-II project is the reference for Rosatom’s international projects: Paks II., the Belarusian NPP, the Egyptian El-Dabaa, the Finnish Hanhikivi and others.

Compared to previous, 1000 MW Russian NPP units, the 3+ gen. unit has several advantages which increase its economic performance and safety. Electricity power increased by 20%, from 1000 MW to 1200 MW; the lifetime of the main equipment doubled, from 30 to 60 years. The unit meets the highest international standards for nuclear safety.

Source: Rosenergoatom