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#249January 2022

Evident Progress

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Bangladesh’s first nuclear power plant Rooppur is growing by leaps and bounds. In the first month of 2022, let us take a look back at the key events that happened on and around the construction site in 2021.

Constructed to the Russian design, the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant will have two power units with VVER reactors, each having a capacity of 1200 MW. Their design life is 60 years and can be extended by another 20 years. According to the plans, Rooppur-1 will be commissioned in 2023 followed by the second unit in 2024.

On the site

The most active phase of the nuclear construction project started in 2021. The number of on-site workers reached 18,000, with over 80 % of them being from Bangladesh.

In mid-­February, a bilateral delegation spent two days inspecting the progress and performance of the Rooppur construction project. The delegation was headed by Yafes Osman, Minister of Science and Technology of Bangladesh, and Alexander Lokshin, First Deputy Director General for Operations Management at Rosatom and President of ASE Engineering Company, representing Russia.

In March, two girders for the polar crane were installed at Unit 1. The girders are core steel structures of the crane that will later handle heavy pieces of equipment inside the containment.

In early August, the last tier of the dome was lifted and installed on top of the internal containment of Rooppur Unit 1. The installation of this 230‑ton steel structure at the height of +60.500 meters marks an end to the structural steel works at the internal containment of the reactor building.

In the autumn, the reactor pressure vessel was installed at Unit 1 of the nuclear power plant. Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed gave a go-ahead to the final stage of this most essential construction operation. Speaking at the ceremony, the Prime Minister said, “Today is a day of joy and pride for us as the reactor pressure vessel is being set up at Unit 1 of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant. This confirms our strong presence in the nuclear world as far as peaceful uses of nuclear technology are concerned.”

The installation of the reactor pressure vessel started on September 14. During the next two weeks, the reactor was moved via the transportation airlock inside the reactor building containment. Then the 334‑ton structure was installed into its permanent position using a polar crane, with the tolerance of one tenth of millimeter.

In late November, installation of a polar crane bridge was completed in the reactor building of Unit 2. Beams of the bridge were lifted and installed on the railway track with the help of a Liebherr heavy crawler crane.

In the same November, installation of all four steam generators was completed at Unit 1. Steam generators are key components of the reactor’s primary loop designed to transfer heat from the reactor core to the secondary loop, in which steam is produced to rotate the turbine and generate electricity.

From Russia to Bangladesh with love

While the work is going full tilt on the construction site, Russian manufacturers continue sending machinery and equipment to Bangladesh for the under-­construction nuclear power plant. Rosatom will supply over 50 different categories of equipment for the Rooppur project.

In late January, the Volgodonsk-­based production facility of AEM Technologies (part of Rosatom’s power engineering division AtomEnergoMash) manufactured and shipped more than 210 tons of internals for the reactor pressure vessel of Unit 1.

In March, ZIO-Podolsk (part of AEM) manufactured a set of large-­sized equipment for the second power unit of Rooppur NPP. The fourth moisture separator reheater SPP‑1200 and the second high-pressure heater HPH-K‑5 were shipped to the Republic of Bangladesh. The total weight of shipped products amounted to 350 tons.

Also in March, twelve high-pressure gate valves were manufactured for the turbine islands of Rooppur Units 1 and 2. The main function of these pipeline valves is to tightly shut off the operating medium flow in order to ensure reliable operation of the drainage and oil supply systems of the nuclear station turbine plant.

In mid-­April, the Rooppur project passed an important milestone as Russian manufacturer Atommash shipped the last reactor for the plant. Despite the pandemic, it was manufactured 10 days faster than the previous reactor thanks to the optimization of production processes. Representatives of Bangladesh were present at all acceptance tests.

In late May, ZiO-Podolsk shipped a separation tank for the moisture separator reheater (MSR) to be installed at the second unit of Rooppur NPP. The 41‑ton separation tank is designed to collect moisture separated in the MSR.

In late June, the Petrozavodsk branch of AEM Technologies assembled the first primary coolant pump casing for the plant’s second power unit. It is a Class 1 safety product that ensures coolant circulation in the primary loop. Each reactor unit has four primary coolant pumps.

In July, Izhevsk electromechanical plant Kupol shipped to its customer, AtomStroyExport (part of Rosatom), three recirculation units for the Rooppur NPP. They are designed to maintain a pre-set air temperature inside the containment building, which encloses the reactor, and supply cool air to the systems controlling the reactor operation. Each unit consists of a fan, air cooler, confusor and connector between them.

In early November, Rosatom’s nuclear-­powered LASH carrier Sevmorput delivered 1,400 tons of general cargo for the Rooppur nuclear power plant from Saint Petersburg to Vladivostok. Steel structures and mechanisms comprised most of the cargo on board. It took about 25 days to reach the port of destination. In Vladivostok, the cargo was unloaded to be forwarded to Bangladesh.

AtomStroyExport (ASE) is Rosatom’s engineering division and a global leader constructing most of the nuclear power plants abroad and having the world’s largest portfolio of nuclear construction contracts. The division is active in Europe, Middle East, North Africa, and Asia Pacific.

AtomEnergoMash (AEM) is Rosatom’s power engineering division and one of Russia’s largest power machinery producers providing comprehensive solutions in design, manufacture and supply of machinery and equipment for nuclear, thermal, petroleum, shipbuilding and steel-­making industries. Its production facilities are located in Russia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and other countries.