Balakovo, November 27 - Neftegaz.RU. ROSATOM has completed the annealing of a large capacity reactor vessel on power unit 1 (VVER-1000) at Balakovo NPP (Saratov region, 900 km from Moscow) for the 1st time in the world.
This unique technology, designed by Russian scientists from National Research Center «Kurchatov institut», allows to extend reactor service life by using heat treatment that recovers physical parameters of the metal in a reactor vessel. The project opens up cost-effective life-extension opportunities for the fleet of aging 1GW installed capacity reactors across the globe.
ROSATOM CEO Alexey Likhachev said: «Today, there are about 37 VVER-1000 around the world. Annealing [of a reactor vessel] is the new and, currently, only technology in the world that allows to extend the service life of a reactor. This technology will be available for export».
Annealing could extend the service life of VVER-1000 by 15-30 years, thus helping to prevent up to 7.8 billion tons of global CO2 emissions in total, as well as boosting the safety and economic performance of NPP It is estimated that, for the extended operational lifetime, the cost of power generation could decrease to as much as $29 per MWt-hour, which is cheaper than the marginal cost of coal-fired power generation.
Previously, similar technology was tried and tested at smaller reactors of medium capacity (VVER-440) at Novovoronezh and Cola NPPs in Russia, Rivne NPP in Ukraine, Armenian NPP, Greifswald NPP in Germany and Kozloduy NPP in Bulgaria. Annealing allowed to extend their life cycle from 45 to 60 years.