The reactor pressure vessel for unit 3 of Russia's Rostov nuclear power plant is in the process of installation. The component has been put in place ready for circulation pipes to be connected.
The 320-tonne vessel was delivered to the construction site in late May and has now been moved into the reactor building, lifted by polar crane and placed on the support ring in the reactor compartment. The next stage in the operation will be to align the main connectors of the reactor pressure vessel. The main circulation pipes will then be welded in place. The installation operation is expected to take about 60 days to complete.
Four 1000 MWe VVER pressurized water reactors have been planned at the Rostov site (formerly known as Volgodonsk) since the early 1980s. Construction of units 1 and 2 began promptly, but progress faltered. Units 1 and 2 eventually entered commercial operation in March 2001 and October 2010, respectively.
In June 2009, NN-AEP, a subsidiary of AtomEnergoProm (AEP), won the tender as principal contractor for the construction of units 3 and 4, now slightly larger at 1100 MWe. Construction of unit 3 began again in late 2009, with its reactor building dome installed in October 2012. Units 3 and 4 are set to be completed by 2014 and 2016.