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Rosatom: the molten core catcher has been installed at Kursk-2 under construction

Rosatom: the molten core catcher has been installed at Kursk-2 under construction

Kursk, December 23 - Neftegaz.RU. The molten core catcher or the so-called ‘melt trap’ has been installed at its design position under the reactor vault of the 2nd power block of Kursk NPP that is being constructed following the VVER-TOI project.

‘A molten core catcher is a unique development of the Russian nuclear power experts and one of the key NPP safety systems. It is a specially designed system for beyond-design-basis accident management’, Igor Kuzmenko, the chief engineer of the Kursk NPP -2 capital construction department.

‘This Kursk NPP-2 ‘melt trap’ is a new-generation device. It has been customized for specific site conditions and safety requirements, has improved earthquake resistance, hydrodynamic and impact resistance capacity as well as flood protection and simplified installation procedure’.

‘The molten core catcher has been installed ahead of schedule’, Alexey Smirnov, the deputy director of the Kursk NPP-2 internal construction resources management at EC ASE, noted. ‘This is the result of concerted efforts between Trest RosSEM and Energospecmontazh’.

The catcher’s vessel weights 163 tons. A DEMAG caterpillar crane, which is now placed between two nuclear islands, lifted the equipment 8 meters above the ground and installed it at its design location. Other elements of the ‘melt trap’ are: block cassettes filled with special non-metal materials, a maintenance site, a cantilever truss and a lower block.

Before the installation of the molten core catcher, the reactor vault’s 1st-circle reinforced concrete block was assembled. The 95-tons construction is unique in its own way. Unlike the structures used at the Leningrad and the Novovoronezh NPP, it’s already coated, which reduced the assembly time.