Fuel transport gateway installed at unit 1 of first nuclear plant in Bangladesh

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The transport lock has been installed in the reactor building of unit 1 of the first nuclear power plant (NPP) in Bangladesh, coming up at Rooppur, according to an announcement earlier this month by the Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom.  

Rosatom is the equipment supplier and technical consultant for the project to build two VVER-1200 type units of 1,200 MW capacity each at the site located on the eastern bank of the river Padma.     

A statement by Rosatom’s engineering division ASE, which is implementing the Rooppur NPP project, said the transport lock will be used for the loading of nuclear fuel and its unloading at the power plant, as well as for delivering certain types of equipment for the construction.  

The transport lock is 12.7 metres long, 10 metres wide, and weighs 235 tonnes, making it one of the biggest pieces of equipment on the project in terms of dimension. 

After the NPP start-up, fuel simulators will be delivered through the lock, and it will ensure full maintenance of the reactor, the statement said.  

“Installation of the transport lock in the design position is an important stage for the completion of civil works in the reactor compartment building,” ASE Vice President and Rooppur NPP Construction Project Director, Alexei Deriy, said.  

Further work on the assembly and adjustment of the transport lock will be carried out after the jacketing of the first unit’s dome, the statement added.  

In late November 2022, workers finished the installation of steel structures for the external containment dome at the reactor building of unit 1. The height of the containment reached 63.9 metres, according to Rosatom.  The installation of the reactor pressure vessel for unit 1 was completed in November 2021.  

Flushing of systems with the open reactor commenced at unit 1 in early December last, as part of pre-commissioning operations. Flushing of active and passive safety systems with the open reactor is one of the most important pre-commissioning operations. This is the first of a whole series of inspections of equipment and process systems. The flushing helps to ensure that all the equipment has been installed correctly and is ready for operation. Besides, it checks the operability of pump units of the safety systems and normal operation systems. 

Both the state-of-the-art generation III+ VVER-1200 reactor units at the Rooppur NPP, located 160 km from the Bangladesh capital Dhaka, will be equipped with active as well as passive safety systems, including molten core catchers.