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#237January 2021

Joining Global Nuclear Club

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Bangladesh is going to join the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO), reported citing official sources. Membership in the largest international organization will help the country achieve maximum safety and reliability in operation and maintenance of its first nuclear power plant Rooppur. Nuclear Power Plant Company Bangladesh Ltd (NPPCLB) will represent interests of Bangladesh in the organization.

WANO brings together operators of all functional nuclear power plants in the world (numbering 191). The mission of WANO is to maximize the safety and reliability of nuclear power plants worldwide by working together to assess, benchmark and improve performance through mutual support, exchange of information, and emulation of best practices.

WANO helps operators communicate efficiently and share information openly. The association is a non-governmental non-profit organization and not a regulatory body. WANO does not advise companies on nuclear projects and is not a financial or lobbying organization.

The Rooppur nuclear power plant is constructed to the Russian design. The plant will have two power units with VVER reactors. Their design life is 60 years extendable by 20 more years. Each power unit will have a capacity of 1,200 MW. Rooppur 1 will be commissioned in 2023, to be followed by the second unit in 2024. AEM Technologies (part of Rosatom) manufactures key equipment for the nuclear islands of the two power units.

In mid-December, the Petrozavodsk-based production facility of AEM Technologies manufactured and shipped primary coolant pump (PCP) casings for the first unit of the Rooppur NPP.

PCP casings are Class 1 safety products. At a nuclear power plant, PCPs ensure that the coolant flows from the reactor to steam generators. They operate under the pressure of about 160 atm and temperature of 300 °C. Each power unit has four spherical PCP casings with mounting supports.

During the manufacturing process, PCP casings undergo a series of inspections, including an X-ray examination. The products also pass different tests, with the final one being a hydraulic test — ​each assembled casing is subjected to the pressure of 24.5 MPa for 10 minutes. After all inspections and tests are passed, the spherical casings are assembled with mounting supports and internal cones as a fit-up test.

Each spherical casing weighs over 31 tons and is 3.5 meters high and more than three meters wide. The weight of a casing with mounting support reaches 50 tons. The casings are transported from Petrozavodsk by track to the sea port of Saint Petersburg and loaded onto a ship.

Also in December, ZiO-Podolsk, a subsidiary of Rosatom’s mechanical engineering division, manufactured the second set of accumulation tanks for the emergency core cooling system (ECCS) and shipped them to Bangladesh. The tanks will be installed in the reactor building of Rooppur Unit 2.

The ECCS accumulation tanks belong to the nuclear island, one for each coolant loop of the primary circuit. The ECCS is designed to automatically supply a cooling boric acid solution into the reactor core in accidents involving coolant leaks from the primary circuit (loss-of-coolant accidents). The total weight of the products shipped amounts to 156 tons. The equipment is first delivered by rail to the sea port of Saint Petersburg and then loaded onto a barge to be transported to Bangladesh by sea.