Reactor coolant pump suitable for tropical marine climate shipped to Kudankulam NPP

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The first Russian made reactor coolant pump fabricated with duplex and super duplex steels that are especially resistant to the corrosive impact of tropical sea water, and designed to operate in tropical marine climate conditions, has been shipped to India for installation at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu being built with the assistance of the Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom, according to a company statement.

Describing the specially manufactured reactor coolant pump, the Deputy Director for Projects in India at the Rosatom subsidiary ASE, Alexander Kvasha, said: “It is unique due to special design parameters intended for operation in the tropical marine climate”. This new type of equipment has been manufactured by Hungary-based Ganz EMM Ltd, a company that is managed by Rosatom’s machine building division Atomenergomash.

A Rosatom statement said that the reactor coolant pump was part of the shipment destined for the Kudankulam NPP consisting of equipment such as pumps, ventilation and pipe valves manufactured by ASE’s European suppliers in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, among elsewhere in Europe.

“Equipment for Kudankulam NPP manufactured by European suppliers of JSC ASE was loaded on the Industrial Ruby marine vessel in the port of Hamburg and was shipped to India”, a Rosatom release announced, regarding the shipment loaded late last month.

An earlier Rosatom statement said that on March 16, 2021, the Industrial Ruby marine vessel left the port of St. Petersburg with a batch of equipment for Kudankulam NPP under construction in India. “The Industrial Ruby carrying the 24th batch of equipment left the port of St. Petersburg on March 16, 2021, and called at the port of Hamburg on its way to India. This is the first of lot of equipment for Kudankulam units 3 and 4 this year and the 24th under the project. The 24th lot included air locks for the passive heat removal system, pumping equipment, penetrations, valves, switchgear cabinets and pipelines”, it said.

While the KNPP units 1 and 2 of 1,000 MW capacity each are already operational, units 3, 4, 5 and 6, to be equipped with the VVER-1000 reactors of similar capacity, are in various stages of construction.

“New power units of Kudankulam NPP comply with the most up-to-date safety requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)”, Rosatom said.

Meanwhile, the company announced last week that a “core melt localisation device” or the molten core catcher safety feature has been installed at the fourth unit of KNPP.

“The case of the core melt localisation device, or the so-called core catcher, has been installed in the design position under the reactor pit of power unit No.4 of Kudankulam NPP which is under construction”, a company statement said.

According to the Head of Construction Division at the KNPP, Vadim Khlivenko, “it is a unique system of NPP protection and the first large-size equipment item that is installed in the reactor building. Currently core catchers are installed at all the NPPs constructed under Russian design”.

“It is one of the most important NPP safety systems. The case of the device weighs over 160 tons. A heavy-duty crane was used for its installation”, the statement added.

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