26th August 2020, Büyükeceli, Mersin Province, Turkey. Core Melt Localization Device (CMLD) or "core catcher", a crucial component of Unit 2 passive nuclear safety system, has been delivered to Akkuyu NPP construction site.
The core catcher body is 5.8 meters high and 6.1 meters in diameter. It is a 169-ton steel cone-shaped container, which will safely hold the core melt and prevent radioactive substances from leaving the containment structure of the reactor building in case of emergency. Hence, Akkuyu NPP is protected against the most severe accidents. The melt localization device is installed to all modern nuclear power plants equipped with Generation III+ reactors. The core catcher features the maximum safety characteristics, namely improved seismic resistance, hydrodynamic and impact strength.
The installation of the CMLD body, which was manufactured at TYAZHMASH plant in Russia, at Unit 2 of Akkuyu NPP is scheduled for November 2020. Once the installation is over, the weight of the core catcher including internal equipment will be 668 tons.
AKKUYU NUCLEAR JSC Chief Executive Officer Anastasia Zoteeva pointed that the construction works at the Akkuyu NPP site are well underway. She spoke about the upcoming major construction stages:
“The most active works are being performed at Unit 1. Later this year we plan to complete the construction of external walls up to the elevation of +26.0. It will be the operating level of the central hall. This will allow us to install the reactor vessel next year and to commence welding the reactor coolant pipeline, which will take place in the very core of the nuclear power plant, in August. Atommash, a Russian enterprise of Rosatom, manufactured four steam generators for the Unit 1. Once they are delivered to the site, we will expect the delivery of the reactor vessel. This autumn we will install the core catcher at Unit 2. The construction of other auxiliary facilities - construction bases, fuel storages and tunnels, is being performed simultaneously with these works. The site has been fully developed and we have no undeveloped working areas at the moment!”
The construction works are currently being performed at three power units of Akkuyu NPP. All construction stages are thoroughly controlled by independent inspection organizations and the Nuclear Regulatory Authority, a national regulatory body, as well as by the experts of Assystem international engineering group.