The Kursk NPP-2 construction project calls for the installation of evaporative cooling towers, one for each power block


Control room at the Kursk Nuclear Power Plant. (Credit: Sergey Pyatakov / Сергей Пятаков)

The Kursk NPP-2 evaporative cooling tower will become the tallest one in Russia, with its height being 179 meters. The construction team has started concreting the tower’s ring footing. Over 1,100 cubic meters of concrete have been placed into the first section. A total of 6,050 cubic meters will have to be placed into the foundation subdivided into 5 sections.

‘The preparation activities prior to the cooling tower construction began in late 2019. We have set up a sand-gravel foundation, finalized the concrete blinding, and just recently, we have completed the ring footing reinforcement of 280 tons’, Rostislav Kimlik, the deputy chief engineer of the capital construction and the head of construction control team at the Kursk NPP-2, said. ‘Since the cooling tower will be the tallest one, the outer surface of the cooling tower cover is breaking the record, too, with 53,150 square meters’.

The Kursk NPP-2 construction project calls for the installation of evaporative cooling towers, one for each power block. The stacks work as a part of the power block’s cooling system. Water circulates in a closed circuit, thus removing unnecessary heat from the units. Cooling towers are used to lower the water temperature. The water cooling process is facilitated by thermal exchange with water. Cooling water is distributed all over the spraying system using spraying devices (nozzles). Natural draught cooling towers are environmentally friendly thanks to the energy savings they provide. Stacks have the same function as water ponds – they disseminate unnecessary heat produced during water cooling into the atmosphere. In the meantime, water returns into the cooling system cycle.

The cooling tower’s ring footing radius is 71.736 meters, the total amount of concrete used to form the cover is 14,078 cubic meters.

In 2020, the construction team plans to erect the structure of the evaporative cooling tower as high as 10.7 meters.

*The 3+ generation 1st and 2nd power blocks of the Kursk NPP-2 are pilot projects constructed based on the VVER-TOI project (pressurized water type reactor standard optimized). This is a new designed elaborated by Russian specialists (ASE Group, the engineering division of the Rosatom State Corporation) on top of the technical solutions of the VVER-1200 NPP project. Compared to the previous-generation power blocks (VVER-1000), the capacity of each has been increased by 25%, up to 1,255 megawatt. The life span of the major equipment has doubled. The new Kursk NPP-2 power blocks comply with the most recent safety regulations set by the IAEA.

The developer and the technical customer of the facility is the Rosenergoatom Joint-Stock Company. The general designer and the general contractor is ASE.

As of now, the 1st, the 2nd and the 4th power block of the Kursk NPP run at the capacity set in the dispatch schedule. The 3rd power block is undergoing scheduled maintenance.

The radiation background at the Kursk NPP and within its location area is within the limit of normal power block operation and does not exceed the natural background level.

Source: Company Press Release