The pressure tests demonstrated the required strength of the base metal and welds of the product, OMZ said on 8 September. The next step will be to check the assembly of the reactor pressure vessel and its internals, one of the final stages in manufacturing the vessel before shipment to the customer, OMZ said. Izhorskiye Zavody is nearing completion of the support and thrust rings and accumulator tanks for the unit, OMZ said.
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, 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, respectively.