A melt localization device, or core catcher, one of the main elements of Unit 3 supplementary (passive) safety system, was delivered and installed at the Akkuyu NPP construction site. After unloading the vessel which delivered the catcher to the Eastern cargo terminal, the equipment was transported to Unit 3 construction area and installed in the design position in the reactor shaft.
The height of the core catcher body is 6.14 meters, the diameter is 5.83 meters. The catcher is a steel cone-shaped container weighing 144 tons, which, in case of an emergency, reliably holds fragments of the core melt and does not allow them to be released outside the reactor building containment. At the operation stage, the core catcher is filled with special materials. Upon interaction with those materials the core melt loses part of the accumulated heat. The chemical processes arising from such interaction create conditions for melt retention and cooling. Core catcher has maximum safety characteristics: increased seismic resistance, hydrodynamic and impact strength, etc. The device was manufactured at the TYAZHMASH plant in Russia, which specializes in manufacturing of this type of equipment.
“The core catcher is the first large-sized equipment installed in the reactor building of Unit 3. Catchers are part of all modern nuclear power units with generation 3+ VVER-1200 reactors. This is a unique know-how of Russian nuclear scientists, which ensures safety for the environment and people under any scenario of nuclear power plant operation. It is important to note that the installation of the catcher was preceded by a thorough control: quality control was carried out at the manufacturing plant with the participation of AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC representatives, and upon arrival at the Akkuyu NPP site, a mandatory acceptance control procedure was carried out, which confirmed the integrity and reliability of the equipment,” said Sergei Butсkikh, First Deputy CEO - Director of NPP under construction.
All construction stages are supervised by independent inspection organizations and the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NDK).