The Leningrad NPP: the site assembly of the trestle crane has been completed at the 2nd power block with VVER-1200 under construction

The site assembly of the trestle crane with the capacity of 360 tons has been completed at the construction site of the 2nd Leningrad NPP power block with VVER-1200 type reactor. The crane is designed to move the equipment during the construction and operation, as well as to deliver the nuclear fuel into the containment zone of the reactor vessel.

‘The crane was assembled right in front of the reactor building at the assembly site. This ‘ground’ way of assembly helps reduce the number of operations that we would have to perform at height and, hence, speed up the process and make it more safe’, Andrey Kuznetsov, the deputy head of centralized maintenance workshop responsible for lifting devices, said. To assemble the frame, the mobile and the lifting elements, the wheels, we used a regular caterpillar crane. Now, the installation workers at height are to install the crane service platform, the cable tracks and the electric equipment, as well as to assemble the crane rails. This is the prerequisite to lifting the crane to the projected height of 40 meters to the equipment airlock.

Once the crane is installed, the specialists will assemble the portal, the additional lifting mechanisms, the control cab and other elements. In parallel, the construction team will lay the power lines and the control lines, perform the electrical works at the crane itself and at the security building where the lifting equipment control systems are based.

Despite the large scope of electrical and pre-commissioning works, the team has to put the crane in place by the end of this year. 

The Leningrad NPP is the country’s first plant with RBMK-1000 reactors (uranium-graphite circuit-type reactor running on thermal neutrons). The decision that marked its construction was taken in September 1966 by a resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the USSR and the Council of Ministers No. 800-252. According to that document, the Leningrad NPP was supposed to become a core in a network of nuclear power plants with RBMK-1000 reactors that were supposed to produce a substantial share of electric power. The construction of the Leningrad NPP was going well, and by 1973 the first power block was fully erected. On December 23, 1973, following stable 72-hours’ operation at the capacity of 150 megawatt, the State Commission signed the acceptance certificate stating that the first power block of the Leningrad nuclear power plant is commissioned for pilot production.

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