The Novovoronezh nuclear power plant II (NNPPII) is being developed at the site of the existing Novovoronezh nuclear plant located in Voronezh Oblast, central Russia.
The project is being carried out as part of the Russian Government’s long-term federal target programme (FTP), which entails making nuclear electricity account for 25%-30% of the country’s total electricity supply by 2030, with further increases to 45%-50% by 2050 and 70%-80% by end of the century. The current share of nuclear electricity in the total supply in Russia is 16%.
Novovoronezh II is planned to have four generating units featuring VVER-1200 reactors. Two of the reactors are being constructed as part of phase one, while the other two are still in the design stage. The first unit was commissioned in February 2017, while the second unit is scheduled to be commissioned by December 2019. Pilot commercial operations of the unit 2 were started in June 2019.
Novovoronezh is one of ten nuclear power plants (NPP) being operated in Russia by the state-owned utility Rosenergoatom. With 33 reactors and a total installed capacity of 25.2GW, Rosenergoatom is the second largest utility in the world in nuclear electricity generation.
Novovoronezh II plant make-up
The new NPP will be equipped with four VVER reactors rated at 1.2GW each and four PGV-1000 steam generators along with generator sets and 12 N-caption filters. The plant has an estimated life of 60 years.
Each steam generator has a diameter of 4.5m and height of 5.2m, weighing approximately 430t. Generator sets will be used for emergency power supply.
The N-caption filter is a vessel that will operate with a pressure of 8.4MPa. It has a diameter of 2m with a height of 5m, and contains special filtering elements.
Construction of Novovoronezh nuclear power plant II
Construction of the first unit of the Novovoronezh II plant started in 2008, followed by that of the second unit in 2009. Foundation plates for both the units were completed by the end of 2009. Each plate required approximately 17,000t of concrete and 2,500t of reinforcement steel. Concreting of the foundations for the cooling towers of the two units was completed by October 2012.
Installation of circulation pumps at unit one started in August 2012 and the steam generator was installed in September 2012. Installation of the reactor building dome started in November 2013.
The first batch of 163 fuel assemblies was installed in February 2019 for unit two with the remaining assemblies loaded within the next five days. The power start-up for unit two was initiated in May 2018.
The power start-up process involves gradually increasing the reactor power from 1%, known as Minimum Control Power (MCP), which was achieved by March 2019, to 35% and then 40% followed by a long and gradual increase to 100%, which is expected to be achieved by the end of 2019.
The first power programme at unit 2 commenced in April 2019, following approval from the Federal Environmental, Industrial and Nuclear Supervision Service of Russia.
Reactor details of Novovoronezh nuclear power station
VVER-1200 has been designed to produce 1,200MWe of power with optimised fuel efficiency. It is planned to have a lifetime of approximately 60 years at 90% capacity factor.
VVER technology refers to a series of pressurised water reactor designs originally developed in Russia. The Russian abbreviation for VVER stands for ‘water-cooled, water-moderated energy reactor’. Distinctive features of VVER include the horizontal steam generators, hexahedral fuel assemblies, and the high-capacity pressurisers that provide a large reactor coolant inventory.
The reactor offers adequate emergency solutions, including a core cooling system, a backup diesel power supply, an advanced refuelling machine, computerised reactor control systems, a backup feedwater supply, and reactor SCRAM system.
Contractors involved with the Novovoronezh II nuclear project
Russia’s Rosatom Atomic Power Agency is building eight 70MW FNPS (Floating Nuclear Powered Stations) to be stationed around the country.
Stroytransgaz was awarded the contract for the construction-assembly work of the new power plant while OKB GIDROPRESS designed the VVER reactors.
German diesel and gas manufacturer Tognum will supply MTU Onsite Energy emergency gensets worth $37m under a sub-contract with Zvezda Energetika.
Glazovsky zavod Khimmash, a part of OMZ Group, supplied 12 N-caption filters for the power plant under a sub-contract signed in July 2009.
Machine building plant ZIO-Podolsk is responsible for the engineering and technical assistance of the steam generators, while ZIOMAR, an engineering company, developed detailed drawing and packaging of the generators.
Power Machine is responsible for the design, manufacture, and supply of turbine units, including the steam turbines, capacitors, and turbine generator sets.
AREVA will provide safety instrumentation and control systems for the four nuclear reactors at Novovoronezh II as part of a contract signed in 2009.
Atomenergoproekt was appointed as a general contractor for the design and construction of the Novovoronezh II and ARAKO is the supplier of valves.
Details of existing Novovoronezh NPP
Novovoronezh plant supplies power to Voronezh Oblast, Belgorod, Lipetsk, and Tambov regions. It is the first Russian NPP to have VVER reactors.
It has seen commissioning of five VVER reactors in its history, with its first unit equipped with VVER-210 and commissioned in 1964. The second (VVER-365), third (VVER-440), fourth ((VVER-440), and fifth (VVER-100) units were commissioned in 1969, 1971, 1972, and 1980 respectively.
The first and second units were permanently decommissioned in 1988 and 1990. Unit 3 of the plant was decommissioned in 2016, while unit four was shut down for modernisation works and has resumed operation.
Unit 5 of the plant has recently undergone a $453m upgrade. It has advanced features similar to those of a generation III reactor and will operate until 2035.
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