Construction Start at the First Unit of Kursk-II in Russia
WNISR, 11 May 2018
The pouring of basemat concrete at the Kursk II unit 1 reactor was begun 29 April 2018, according to plant owner Joint Stock Company Concern Rosenergoatom. The 1255 MW VVER pressurized water reactor located 40 km from the city of Kursk in western Russia, is the first of the VVER V-510 design to be built, and is based on the AES-2006/V-392M design. The 1200 MW Novovoronezh unit 6, which began operations on 5 August 2016, is of this earlier design.
Completion of Kursk-II-1 is planned for late 2023, at which time the existing Kursk-I units 1&2, which are of the Chernobyl-type RBMK design, will be shut down. Construction start is planned for Kursk-II-2 in 2019 due for completion in 2024. The four-year projected timeframe for construction looks ambitious, with eight years between construction start and operation of Novovoronezh unit 6.
Rosatom promotes the Generation-III reactor as including the most advanced passive safety features. “Construction of Russia’s first VVER-TOI-based power unit proves that the national nuclear power industry is always at the cutting edge of science and engineering. The new generation VVER-TOI units are state-of-the-art facilities made to the best of Russia’s nuclear engineering knowledge,” stated the Director of the Kursk plant.
It should be noted however that the design of the reactors was begun in 2009 and completed in 2012, with questions over the adaptation of post Fukushima lessons into the design of the reactor that was largely completed before the March 2011 accident. The design has not been licensed in any western country and no thorough independent assessment has been carried out.