Novovoronezh NPP-2: no-load turbine set trials have started at the innovative 2nd power bloc

On April 23, 2019, a turbine trial run was conducted at the Novovoronezh NPP-2 (an affiliate of the Rosenergoatom Joint-Stock Company, a part of the Electric Power Division at Rosatom) for the innovative 3+ generation VVER-1200 power block No. 2 (power block No.7 of the Novovoronezh NPP).

The turbine was operated with no load, and the number of revolutions was gradually increased up to the design values.

‘The no-load turbine trials were successful. We managed to reach 3,000 revolutions per minute. There are no issues reported on the equipment operation. This technological operation was conducted at 30% of the reactor’s capacity, which is the one required to produce steam that will be enough for the turbine start from rest’, Vladimir Kazanskiy, the Deputy Chief Engineer responsible for the Novovoronezh NPP facilities under construction, said.

The startup operations at the 2nd VVER-1200 power block of the Novovoronezh NPP-2 were initiated on February 19, 2019, when the first fresh fuel assembly was placed into the reactor core. On March 22, 2019, the reactor facility of the 2nd power block was set to the minimum controllable power level, which enabled the team to conduct different trials and measurements. On March 27, 2019, the physical launch program for the 2nd power block was fully completed. On April 11, 2019, the power start-up stage began for the 2nd power block, during which a comprehensive block trial will be conducted while gradually reaching the estimated capacity.

The 2nd power block of the Novovoronezh NPP-2 is scheduled to be put into operation by the end of 2019, following which the nuclear power plant will contribute over 1 billion rubles into the regional budget in the form of property tax for 2020.

The innovative 3+ generation power blocks boast improved technical and economic parameters that also facilitate full operational safety. They make use of the top-notch technology achievements and developments. The main point of the VVER-1200 reactor power blocks is the unique combination of active and passive safety systems that make the NPPs highly reliable to both internal and external load. What is typical for the passive systems is that they can work even when the energy supply is off and without an operator. The VVER-1200 reactor power blocks use: a ‘melt trap’ – a device that localizes the nuclear reactor’s core meltdown; an afterheat removal passive system designed to remove heat from the reactor’s active zone into the atmosphere for a long time if all energy supply sources are off; etc.

Countries like Finland, Hungary, Bangladesh, Belarus and others have opted for this technology. The international portfolio of Rosatom encompasses 36 VVER blocks in 12 countries.

Novovoronezh NPP is a branch of Rosenergoatom JSC (a part of the largest Division of Rosatom State Corporation – Electric Power Division). The Plant is situated on the River Don bank 42 km South of Voronezh. This is the first NPP of Russia with VVER type reactors (Water-Water Power Reactors of containment type with water under pressure). Three reactors of the Plant are the main ones – the prototypes of the serial power reactors. The first power unit was commissioned in 1964, the second one - in 1969, the third one – in 1971, the fourth one – in 1972, and the fifth one – in 1980. 

The power units No 1 and No 2 were shut down in 1984 and 1990, respectively. The power unit No 3 was shut down in 2016 for the decommissioning events. The power unit No 4 was shut down for modernization works. The power unit No 1 of Novovoronezh NPP-2 was commissioned on 27 February, 2017. The power unit No 2 is in the stage of commissioning works. 

The latest information about radiation situation near Russian NPPS and other nuclear power facilities can be seen at www.russianatom.ru 

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