Core melt localization device installed at Unit 3 of Kudankulam NPP, India”

Core melt localization device installed at Unit 3 of Kudankulam NPP, India”

Core melt localization device installed at Unit 3 of Kudankulam NPP, India

 Chennai, Dec. 2019

 The case of the core melt localization device, or the so called “molten core catcher” was installed in the design position under the reactor pit of Unit 3 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu, India.

Vladimir Angelov, Director for Projects in India at ASE, engineering division of Russia’s Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation, said: “Core melt localization device is a unique development of Russian nuclear experts and one of the most important NPP safety systems. This is a special system for beyond-design-basis accidents managment”.Core catcher for Kudankulam NPP is a device of new generation adapted for the relevant site conditions and safety requirements, it has improved seismic resistance, hydro-dynamic and shock strength, as well as equipped with flood protection and simplified installation and assembly technology.

The main feature of the Kudankulam NPP project is its unique combination of active and passive safety systems that provides maximum resistance against external and internal influences. The passive safety systems are capable of functioning even in the event of a complete loss of power supply. They can provide full safety without the active systems and an operator. The core catcher , one of the elements of the passive safety systems was first installed at China’s Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant of Russian design.According to the project, a core melt localization device (CMLD), or a “core catcher,” is installed at the bottom of the station’s protective shell. It is designed to localize and cool the molten core material in case of a hypothetical accident that could lead to damage to the core. The “core catcher” allows the integrity of the protective shell to be preserved and thus excludes radioactive emission in the environment, even if the hypothetical accident is serious.

The case of the device weighs 147.5 tons. The equipment was lifted to the height of 27 meters above the surface and installed in the design position by means of the tracked crane Liebherr LR11350 which is placed between two nuclear islands.Except for the case, main components of the core catcher are block-assemblies filled with special non-metallic materials, maintenance platform, cantilever truss and bottom plate.Rosatom is technical consultant and main equipment supplier for the construction of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant.