The core catcher has been installed at the Kursk 2-2 nuclear power plant under construction in western Russia, state-owned nuclear corporation Rosatom said.
The core catcher is a device provided to catch the molten core material, or corium, of a nuclear reactor in the event of a nuclear meltdown and to prevent it from escaping the containment.
Rosatom said the core catcher has been adapted to site conditions and has increased seismic resistance, hydrodynamic and impact strength, and flood protection. The core catcher is one of the features which make the 1,115-MW VVER-TOI unit a Generation III+ plant.
Construction of Kursk 2-2 began in April 2019. Construction of the first unit, Kursk 2-1, began in April 2018.
The VVER-TOI technology being used for Kursk 2-1 and Kursk 2-2 was developed from the 1,200 MW AES-2006 pressurised water reactor.
Rosatom said the two VVER-TOI units, the first to be built, offer “a significant reduction in construction, timeframe and operational costs”.
Commissioning of the first two units at Kursk 2 was planned to be synchronised with the decommissioning of Units 1 and 2 at the existing Kursk station after 2021 and 2022.
The existing Kursk station has four RBMK-1000 graphite-moderated nuclear reactor units (LWGRs) that began commercial operation between October 1977 and February 1986