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‘Revived’ Atommash completes RPV for Belarus

15 октября 2015
Новости отрасли

Russian heavy machine-building company Atommash said yesterday it had completed production of the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) for the Ostrovets nuclear power plant in Belarus. It is the first RPV manufactured at Atommash’s production site after a nearly 30-year hiatus and the first since it became part of Rosatom, the Russian state nuclear corporation, in 2012.

A ceremony to mark shipment of the RPV to the plant’s construction site was attended by Andrey Nikipelov, general director of Atomenergomash (AEM), Igor Kotov, general director of AEM-Technology, Mikhail Mikhadyuk, deputy energy minister of Belarus, and Mikhail Tikhonov, industry and energy minister of the Rostov District.

Atommash is part of AEM-Technology, which is a unit of AEM, Rosatom’s power engineering subsidiary.

“The revival of the Atommash industrial complex was one of Rosatom’s priorities,” Nikipelov said at the ceremony. “Work to upgrade equipment, train personnel and introduce new technologies has been done in the shortest time possible. Specialists from several companies, including Tsniitmash and Zio-Podolsk helped with this work”.

Tsniitmash, another subsidiary of AEM-Technology, develops steel and welding materials used in reactor casings, steam generators, pressure compensators, hydraulic tanks, primary circulation pumps, stainless steel equipment and other equipment, including turbines and piping for VVER-1000 and AES-2006 reactors. Zio-Podolsk, an AEM subsidiary, also manufactures equipment for nuclear power plants, including steam generators.

Atommash’s completion of the RPV for Belarus confirms that it has “completely regained its competence” as a manufacturer of key equipment for nuclear power plants, Nikipelov said. Atommash is the only company in Russia that is able to produce the full set of equipment for a nuclear island, he added, including the reactor vessel and steam generators. Atommash is able to make up to four sets of such equipment per year, he said.

Atommash is currently working on equipment for the Novovoronezh and Rostov nuclear power plant projects in Russia. It will soon start work on nuclear island equipment for the Akkuyu and Kudankulam plants in Turkey and India, respectively.

Revived company

Atommash was established in 1973 at Volgodonsk as Russia’s then principal nuclear equipment supplier. It began producing large-scale reactor components in 1977 including pressure vessels, internal reactor parts, and steam generators. In 1981 Atommash manufactured the first VVER-1000 reactor pressure vessel, which was shipped to the South Ukrainian nuclear power plant. Later, its products were supplied to Balakovo, Zaporozhie, Smolensk, Kalinin, Rovno and Khmelnitsky plants. By 1986, Atommash had produced 14 RPVs, of which five have remained at the factory. It became a joint-stock company in 1994, and after bankruptcy in 1997 was taken over as a branch of Energomash.

Atommash supplied some parts for Bushehr in Iran and Tianwan in China, but until securing contracts for VVER-1200 core melt traps (core-catchers), each 810 tonnes, its focus was on the chemical, oil and gas industries and it had not handled any nuclear plant work for several years.

It has capacity to make components up to 1200 tonnes, and has a major mooring berth accessible from the Volga-Don canal.

As a result of complex legal proceedings and a fraud conviction of the CEO, in October 2012 the plant was leased to AEM-Technology.

Manufacturing of further components, including RPVs and core melt traps, for the Baltic plant was assigned to it from AEM Petrozavodskmash.

In April 2013 it was awarded the contract to supply the RPVs, associated equipment and core melt traps for the two 1200 MWe Ostrovets reactors in western Belarus. It has already supplied two core melt traps for Novovoronezh II. Plant upgrading is under way. It is to make the steam generator set for Rostov 4.

AEM-Technology was established in 2007 as a private joint stock company based in St Petersburg and is the leading AEM entity for manufacture of reactor equipment.

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