Thursday, January 28th, 2021

Technological features are crucial for NPP safety: Russian expert

Published 11:05 pm | January 28, 2021

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Online desk ; Technological and technical features are crucial in the safety of modern nuclear power plants, according to Russian expert and senior lecturer of Institute of Nuclear Physics and Engineering and National Research Nuclear University MEPhI Aleksey Puzakov.

Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) project has all necessary technical means and organizational measures aimed at preventing accidents and limiting their consequences, he told at a webinar, which was organised by Rosatom for journalists, according to a message received here today.

Puzakov elaborated about the safety systems of nuclear power plants and listed basic principles used in overall design, components of VVER and safety systems to ensure maximum safety measures of nuclear power plants, the message said.

It said he specifically detailed out the features of VVER-1200 power unit that is being built at Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant.

Puzakov outlined the step-by-step features, stating basic principles of protection of an NPP.

He also mentioned how all new VVER-1200 plants under construction such as Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP) already have design features, including: long term cooling of reactor core without electrical power; long term decay heat removal that does not rely on primary ultimate heat sink (sea, river, cooling tower); protection of reactor containment integrity with dedicated systems after a core meltdown accident.

The VVER-1200 Reactor unit containment at RNPP also includes: double-wall containment; sealing steel cladding, together with a base plate; leak tight penetrations; Isolating valves; transport, main and emergency locks.

Puzakov said the VVER-1200 plant was designed to meet the Russian general safety requirements, which were consistent with the IAEA’s International Nuclear Safety Group (INSAG) recommendations, and the current IAEA safety standard on nuclear power plant design safety, issued in 2012.

The Russian general safety requirements are also consistent with the safety objectives specified by WENRA (Western European Nuclear Regulators Association) in 2010 for new nuclear power plants.

Concluding the webinar, Puzakov reinstated the safety objectives of the nuclear power plant by emphasizing on how developing technology and technical features, as well as operation procedures have made it possible to have the desired safety level in place.

He also noted that the VVER type power units have already amassed more than 1400 reactor years of operation, making this type one of the most reliable and safe.

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