The forging of the reactor vessel started in Saint Petersburg

4/26/24 7:57 PM
The reactor vessel of Unit 5 is already being forged, and the core-catcher will arrive in Paks in the summer – Péter Szijjártó announced.

In St. Petersburg, in one of the largest automated forging plants in Europe, the forging of the reactor pressure vessel of Unit 5 is already underway – Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said, adding: the reactor vessel is practically the heart of the nuclear power plant, where the controlled chain reaction itself takes place. According to Hungarian News Agency MTI, the minister also reported that the core-catcher of Unit 5 will arrive in Hungary in the summer, exceeding preliminary expectations. Péter Szijjártó added that this also proves that the works are proceeding according to schedule.

At the ceremony held on the occasion of the start of the forging at the Atomenergomas plant, Gergely Jákli, Chairman-CEO of Paks II. Ltd., emphasized: – We are working to connect the new units to the grid by the beginning of 2030. To this end, work is being carried out in parallel at the Paks site and thousands of kilometers away, in St. Petersburg.

At the event, Andrei Sinyakov, first deputy of the CEO of Atomenergomas, reported that the production process is carried out in accordance with EU and Hungarian regulations, with the reactor pressure vessel undergoing a very strict quality control process, with around 700 quality checks.

Vitaly Polyanin, Vice President of the Contractor Atomstroyexport and Director of the Paks project, said that the production of the raw parts for the reactor vessel of Unit 5 will be followed by the production of steam generators, volume compensators, safety system vessels and other equipment for the primary circuit.

Péter Szabó, mayor of Paks, called the construction of the reactor vessel a historic moment, adding that people are confident that the expansion will bring similar development to town like the Paks I. project did.

The production process of the reactor vessel is regularly monitored on site by the experts of Paks II. Ltd. and the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority.

The rings that make up the reactor vessel and the bottom of the vessel, are formed under about 12000 tonnes of pressure during forging. The final mass of this piece of equipment is around 330 tonnes, its height is more than 11 meters, its diameter is 4,5 meters and its maximum wall thickness is 285 millimeters. The VVER-1200 reactor vessel will not only be tested by the continuous neutron flux, but will also have to withstand temperatures of 300 degrees Celsius and pressures of 162 bar for a guaranteed 60 years. Thanks to its advanced composition and production technology, the reactor vessel might last up to 100 years.

While the forging of the reactor vessel is already underway, the other major long-lead item, the core-catcher for Unit 5, is already ready. The state-of-the-art piece of equipment will arrive at the Paks site by water, following a successful final handover, allowing it to be installed at an early stage of commissioning. The core-catcher, 15 meters high and weighing more than 730 tonnes, will be the largest piece of equipment at the plant.