The prospects of another life extension for BN-600 up to 2040 were discussed at the Beloyarsk NPP

On June 21, 2019, a field industry meeting took place at the Beloyarsk NPP with the deputy chief engineers responsible for nuclear power plants’ engineering support and upgrade. The heads and representatives of the Rosenergoatom Joint-Stock Company’s departments, the scientific research institutions and the planning, design and contracting organizations (OJSC VNIIAES, OKB ‘Gidropress’, NRC ‘Kurchatov Institute’, JSC ‘Afrikantov OKB Mechanical Engineering’, etc.) attended the meeting.

The meeting participants have discussed multiple aspects of upgrade and life span extension for the operating power blocks at Russian nuclear power plants. The Beloyarsk NPP was used as a meeting location for a good reason, as this practice is actively used here.

‘We have been planning to hold a field meeting at the Beloyarsk NPP for a while. This plant boasts fantastic production results and has positive experience in life span extension: in 2010, following the upgrade and safety improvements, the 3rd BN-600 power block obtained a Rostekhnadzor license for another 10 years. The quality and the scope of works completed make us confident that BN-600 is going to receive a 5-year license next year, which would prolong its life span until 2025’, Yuriy Maksimov, the Director of the Production, upgrade and life span extension department at the Rosenergoatom Joint-Stock Company, said.

During the meeting, the representatives of the NPPs exchanged their best practices and reported on the outcomes of the power blocks’ upgrade and life span extension activities in H1 2019, as well as defined their key goals in this area in the nearest future. In particular, the nuclear power experts discussed the prospects of extending the Beloyarsk NPP’s BN-600 power block life span once again up to year 2040.

Piotr Govorov, the deputy chief engineer of engineering support and upgrade, delivered a presentation on this topic: ‘Here, at Rosenergoatom Joint-Stock Company, we strongly believe there is an opportunity for BN-600 power block’s life span extension up to year 2040. This means we are ready to undertake the activities necessary to extend the designed operation span for the Beloyarsk NPP’s 3rd power block up to 60 years’.

He also stated that phase 1 of this activities has been completed: ‘JSC ‘Afrikantov OKB Mechanical Engineering’, NRC ‘Kurchatov Institute’ and other design, construction and research organizations have conducted a preliminary review of the equipment and came to a conclusion that it is technically possible for the reactor to operate further’.

‘At the second stage, we made a case for economic feasibility of another extension and supported it with a resolution made by the Rosatom State Corporation (note – in February 2019). As of now, JSC Atomproekt is working on an investment project for the power block’s life span extension, which should be completed by 2024 and will be followed by a submission of all applicable documents to Rostekhnadzor in order to obtain a license for the third power block operation for years 2025-2040’, Mr. Govorov noted.

The participants of the meetings hope that the experience accumulated by the Beloyarsk NPP with regard to the life span extension will not be lost and that all activities on this direction will be completed in a proper way.

Following the meeting, the meeting minutes were completed. These state a number of action items that will be discussed during the next meeting on this topic. The team has also evaluated the economic efficiency of the activities related to NPP upgrade and life span extension, discussed the aspects of improving the operational reliability and equipment resource management, as well as the basic tenants of defining the company’s portfolio investment program for 2020.

The Beloyarsk NPP has come into operation in April 1964. The first power blocks of the Beloyarsk NPP with thermal reactors AMB-100 and AMB-200 has been closed after the accumulated running time. The power block with a fast industrial capacity reactor BN-600 is still on. The power block with a fact reactor BN-800Н is currently being prepared for coming into operation. 

The up-to-date information on the nuclear environment close to the Russian NOOs and other nuclear objects is available at www.russianatom.ru 

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