First steam generator of RNPP to be ready soon


The first of four steam generator vessels weighing up to 160 tonne for the Unit-1 of Rooppur Nuclear Power Project (RNPP) is finishing the machining process in Russia and it will be ready for installation of primary circuit header in a month, official said. AEM-technology’s, a concern of the engineering division of Russian state-owned Rosatom, performed the fit up and welding of set of steam generators in its Volgodonsk branch recently.

According to officials, a Steam Generator is a heat exchanger, it is part of a reactor plant and belongs to products of the first safety class. The diameter is more than 4 meters and the length of the apparatus is about 15 meters. The equipment of one nuclear power unit includes four steam generators.

The other three vessels are on different stages of production- machining, inspection performance, official said. Previously, each vessel was assembled from four shells and welded together. In the welding process, more than 2,000 kg of flux and more than 12,000 meters of wire were used.

Amid the growing demand of electricity, Bangladesh moved to build its first-ever nuclear power plant in the northern district of Pabna with the Russian atomic state agency, Rosatom implementing the project. The government put the RNPP on its 10 top priority projects or fast-track projects to complete the initiatives on time.

Meanwhile, the first reactor of the nuclear power plant is likely to arrive by November as the manufacturing of the machinery and equipment for the plant is going on in full swing in Russia, officials said. Some parts of the machinery of the 2400-megawatt power plant have already reached the country with some being shipped, they added.

“Around 25 percent work of the power plant project have already been completed. There will have two reactors with eight steam turbines installed. We hope that the first reactor with three steam turbines will arrive by November,” according to a project official.

According officials at Rosatom, the Reactor Coolant Pumps (RCP) Unit-1 of the power plant is being manufactured at fast pace at Petrozavodsk Branch of Russia’s AEM-Technology.   Welding of joints in all reactor coolant pump casings has been completed, discharge and suction branch pipes are being welded to the spherical casings.

RCP bends after hot forming at Volgodonsk Branch have been delivered to the factory and will be welded to the casings after incoming inspection.  RCP, a vital safety apparatus, ensures coolant circulation from the reactor to steam generators and operates under pressure of 160 atmospheres and temperature of 300 degrees Celsius.

Weight of one casing is more than 31 tonne with height of 3.5 meter and width more than 3 meter. According to the project official, the second reactor and other five steam turbine will arrive in phases. “By this time the first reactor would be installed,” said the official who was not authorized to speak with media and so declined to be identified.

Once RNPP goes into operation, it will ensure uninterrupted electricity supply to over 15 lakh families across country and contribute more than two percent to GDP growth. The government believes at least 1200MW unit of electricity from the first nuclear plant will be added to the national grid by 2023. The second with the same amount of power will be launched by 2024.

Besides, a batch of 20-30 students will pursue higher study on nuclear science in Russia before being employed for the plant maintenance. Designed by Russia, the plant will have two power units with latest generation 3+ VVER 1200 reactor, which will meet international safety standards.

According to the officials, at least 1200MW unit of electricity from the first nuclear plant will be added to the national grid by 2023 while the second with the same amount of power will be launched by 2024.

In 2015-2016, preparatory work was carried out at the construction site, working documentation was developed and documents for licensing for construction were prepared.  On November 4, 2017, the government issued license for the design and construction of the plant.

On October 2, 2013, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid the first stone in the foundation of RNPP. The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved “Construction of Rooppur NPP” Project on December 6, 2016 at an estimated cost of Taka 1,13,092.91 crore.