Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

A fresh photo report from the Kursk Nuclear Power Plant.

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

Before entering the plant, all visitors must be measured for a general background. For this, they sit in a special chair and wait for several minutes. The same is done in the end of the excursion.

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

An alarm system with a set of sensors is hung all over the plant. To be short, the green light means that everything is fine. Yellow – be on the alert. Red – don’t panic and hurry up, just follow the rules and do what is prescribed.

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

All visitors are given a uniform. A camera and a passport are the only things that they are allowed to take with themselves.

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

RBMK-1000 which means “High Power Channel-type Reactor”.

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

A loading / unloading machine designed for refueling. The process can take place both in a shutdown reactor and when it’s running.

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

Before the accident at the Chernobyl NPP, the Soviet Union had ambitious plans for the construction of RBMK reactors, but after the accident, these plans were wound up. In total, only two reactors were put into operation: RBMK-1000 at the Smolensk NPP (1990) and RBMK-1500 at the Ignalina NPP (1987). The latter is fully decommissioned now. Another RBMK-1000 of the 5th unit of the Kursk NPP is nearing completion.

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

The central hall is designed to accommodate complex systems, transport and technological equipment and facilities for the assembly and storage of fresh fuel, the reloading and storage of spent fuel, the repair and replacement of the reactor equipment.

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

Each central hall has two swimming pools containing spent nuclear fuel. The pools are filled with water to cool the fuel and to provide the personnel with biological protection. This is a traditional shot of a fuel rod glowing underwater.

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

The roof of the swimming pool.

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

One of the numerous control rooms.

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

Dosimeters.

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

A controller’s room.

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

Each power unit of the Kursk NPP is equipped with two turbines with generators of 500 MW each.

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

A huge engine room common for all the four units.

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

A mushroom glade – electric motors for the automatic activation of various valves.

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

Photographing is only allowed in the halls and rooms. Before passing through the corridors, visitors are asked to close the lens caps. If someone doesn’t have the one or uses a simple hand-held camera, a security guard takes it away and gives back only in the next room where it’s allowed to shoot.

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

A modular control panel.

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

A guide can speak about the plant for hours.

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

One of the corridors with the lockers containing personal dosimeters.

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

The exit. “Everybody is clean” says the green signal.

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

A pool with sprayers against a background of power units. It’s used for cooling the water that circulates in the cooling system of diesel engines. To prevent is from becoming overgrown, one breeds fish there.

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

Power unit number 5 is a unit of the third generation with the most sophisticated nuclear and physical characteristics, equipped with robust management and protection systems. Its construction began on December 1, 1985 but in the middle of 2000 it was stopped even despite the fact that the unit was almost finished.

In March of 2011, it became known that the completion of the 5th unit of the Kursk NPP may require 3.5 years and 45 billion rubles (about $ 1.6 billion), and that the final decision of whether to continue its construction or not will be adopted in 2012.

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

One of the diesel engines for emergency power supply.

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

TUK-109 intended for the storage and transportation of spent nuclear fuel.

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

A special device of a crane for operating with containers.

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

A training modular control panel.

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

A complete analogue of one of the control rooms at the plant.

Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP

Instructors act out the Fukushima scenario (the total loss of electricity) and cope with occurring problems.

Location: Kursk

via russos

12 thoughts on “Another Excursion to The Kursk NPP”

  1. “Instructors act out the Fukushima scenario (the total loss of electricity) and cope with occurring problems.”

    Oh great. Isn’t this what caused Chernobyl to explode?

    • They’re acting it out on a simulator, not on the real plant. They’re not likely to make that mistake.
      Besides, Chernobyl was a totally different kind of accident, it wasn’t a loss of coolant or loss of power accident.

  2. a BIG thank you to the redaction to show us a real russian nuclear power plant

    Very nice but as always I find those plants very scary

  3. Chernobyl have nothing to de with Fukushima. It was an experiment what they did in Chernobyl #4 unit. The idea was to test if the turbine residual movement can supply enough power in order to turning on the coolant pumps after a general electricity failure. It was not a dangerous experiment itself (it had been completed a couple of times before in other plants, with negative result), but when trying to simulate the conditions for the experiment the operators made a mistake, and let the reactor power slip to only 1% (the specifications set the minimun working power at 30-35%). That didn’t cause the accident, but create iodine and other isotopes in the core, intoxicating the reaction. At that point, they should had stop the whole thing, but there’s a lot of pressure, and probably they didn´t know about the intoxicating iodine in the core (they were not preapred for that situation, as it was very unusual). After that, when operators were trying to increase power, only can push it up to 7%, due to the intoxication. At that point began the really critic mistakes: they disconnected several emergency systems, including the main computer, because they noticed that the computer correctly was about to shut down the reactor. They have big pressure to put the reactor at normal speed to supply an energy demand from Kiev. At the end, when the whole thing had gone wild, the decided to insert the control rods to stop the whole thing (the pressed the “red button”), but it was too late. In fact, pressing the button made the things going wilder, because when the control graphite rods were inserted, due to the abnormal state of the core, instead of slow down it, it caused a super power peak, and then the first explosion happened. The coolant was too hot, and the pipes cannot resist the steam pressure. It is stimated that the core reached x10.000 – x30.000 it’s nominal power. Adter that, the whole core colapses and explodes, throwing to the exterior of the plant entire chunks of radioactive fuel bars and graphite bars…

  4. I was reading about the device they used for replacing the fuel assemblies and was wondering how it can remove the assemblies from a pressurized vessel without shutting the reactor down. That is a very impressive looking device.

    • RBMK is Channel-type Reactor. That means ~1.5 thousand of pressured water pipes instead of one vessel. Fuel rods are located between water pipes and can be changed one by one without shutting down.

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