Two nuclear reactors and eight steam generators for the Kudankulam NPP in India and the Tianwan NPP in China have been transported through the central streets of Volgodonsk in Russia, where they were manufactured, to a specialised berth on the Tsimlyansk reservoir. They were sent by road from the Atommash production site of AEM-Technologies (part Rosatom’s mechanical engineering deivision Atomenergomash). Transportation took place at night to avoid traffic disruption in the city.

Because of the size of the cargo, special city services had to block roads and turn off power lines. The diameter of one 320-tonne reactor vessel measures 4.5 metres, the its length is 13 metres. The total weight of the cargo is 3400 tonnes. The movement was controlled by the operator using the remote control. The convoy travelled at 2-7 km per hour to ensure maximum safety during transportation. “This also allowed the residents of the city to become the first witnesses of the largest shipment of nuclear equipment in the history of nuclear engineering,” Atomenergomash said.

At the pier, with the help of a special crane, the equipment will be transferred to barges for a river trip of 3,500 kilometres. “Residents of Volgograd, Saratov, Samara, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Shlisselburg will be able to watch the passage of equipment in their cities during May,” said Atomenergomash. In St Petersburg, barges will pass along the Neva at night, under raised bridges. After being reloaded onto sea vessels, the equipment will pass through the Baltic and North Seas to the Atlantic, through Gibraltar, the Mediterranean Sea and the Suez Canal, the Red and Arabian Seas to the ports of arrival.

Kudankulam NPP in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu will comprise six units with VVER-1000 reactors. Work began following an intergovernmental agreement between India and Russia signed in 1988. Units 1&2 (Phase I) are already in operation and work is underway to build units 3-6 (Phases II and III).

The agreement for construction of Tianwan units 7&8 was signed by Russia and China in 1918 and commissioning is scheduled for 2026-2027. Currently, six units are operating at Tianwan NPP: units 1-4 with Russian design VVER-1000 reactors, commissioned between 2007 to 2018, and units 5&6 with Chinese ACPR-1000s, commissioned in 2020 and 2021. Units 7&8 are VVER-1200 reactors.


Image: Equipment destined for NPPs in India and China begins its journey from Russia (courtesy of Rosatom)

Date: Wednesday, 03 May 2023
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