Hot functional tests started on 1 September at unit 2 of the Novovoronezh II nuclear power plant in southwest Russia, Rosatom has announced. This is the most important stage of commissioning, which precedes the physical start-up of the unit to confirm its reliable and safe operation, the state nuclear corporation said.
The 144 hot tests will take about 50 days to complete, Vladimir Kazansky, deputy chief engineer for the construction of new units at Novovoronezh II, said. They will include running the four main circulation pumps at a coolant temperature of 280 degrees Celsius and a pressure of 16.0 MPa. They will also involve checking the power supply, steam pipes, safety systems and reactor control and protection systems, he added. Also known as Novovoronezh 7, the unit is a VVER 1200/392M pressurised water reactor (PWR) unit with a design net capacity of 1114 MWe. It is the second of two such units at Novovoronezh II - the lead project for the deployment of the AES-2006 design incorporating a Gidropress-designed PWR, an evolutionary development from the VVER-1000.
Unit 1 of the Novovoronezh II plant, Russia's first VVER-1200 reactor, was connected to the grid in August 2016. A key feature of the design is a double-walled containment structure - a major component for protecting the reactor and preventing the release of radioactive materials into the environment in the event of a serious accident.