red and white metal tower

By 2025 the share of electric power, generated by nuclear power plants in Russia, shall rise from 16 to 25%. 26 new plant units will be constructed and 6 new plants, including two offshore facilities, will be commissioned.
Even when the whole world shuddered with fear because of imminent nuclear catastrophe in Japan, Russia confirmed its plans to expand nuclear energy sector and signed 12 agreements on building 12 reactors abroad.
Power plants always stand for serious contracts, customers and suppliers. As a rule, it is referred to oversized loads. Preparations for this kind of transportation may take half a year – one year. It’s not a secret that complicated operations are pretty well paid. This fact should make Russian heavy lift operators glad, as a great many facilities are and will be constructed in the country, for example, Novovoronezhskaya power plant.

Construction of Novovoronezhskaya NPP-2 was initiated on June, 20, 2007. It is planned to complete the project in the shortest possible amount of time: the first plant unit should be put into operation in 2012, the second unit – in 2013. Construction is unique also because in the last fifteen years there haven’t been any plant units built grassroots.
Over 19 thousand units were delivered to the plant construction site in 2011 (about 12,000 in 2010), including such bulky cargoes as a reactor vessel, moisture separator-reheaters, high-pressure heaters, emergency core cooling system accumulators and polar crane elements. More than ten freight companies took part in the delivery, also regional companies. Therefore, it is worth mentioning how the first stage of delivery was accomplished.
Russian experience of nuclear construction shows that it is reasonable to deliver heat-mechanic equipment to the assembly site by railway. A small part can be sent by water and land. But as the construction was launched grassroots, three transport ways were developed. River route took one of central positions in project cargo logistics for NPP.

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It is by water that the embedded parts of shipping lock produced by Petrozavodskmash were delivered: from Petrozavodsk through Onega Lake, Volga-Baltic Canal, the Volga and Volga-Don Canal to Kalach-on-Don with an on-carriage directly to the construction site of the nuclear plant. Diameter of the outer embedded plate was 10m, the inner one – 8m. The overall weight exceeded 40 tons. Shipping locks for the first and second power units will be delivered to Novovoronezh within the navigation period of 2012.

The 330-t reactor vessel was forwarded from Saint-Petersburg by water in July 2011. This most complicated engineering challenge was accomplished by INCOTEC CARGO, assisted by Keen-Mark. The vessel, manufactured by Izhorsky Plants, was loaded onto tug/barge towing arrangement at the berth in Neva, Saint-Petersburg. Delivery to Novovoronezh required a special shipping route along the inner water ways. The arrangement traveled over 3.8 thousand km – via the Neva, Ladoga and Onega Lake, Volga-Baltic Canal, the Volga and the Don.

The final stage of water transportation was carried out along the Upper Don and turned out to be the most difficult. Extremely low water level in the river (0.5 – 0.8m lower than average figures) could have threatened timely delivery of the reactor vessel. But the experts applied a number of tailor-made engineering solutions which helped overcome all the obstacles and complete the carriage pursuant to all industrial and environmental safety requirements.
Discharging of the reactor vessel (11m long, 5m wide and high) was carried out on the specially constructed pier in the Don River, Novovoronezh. Unloading operations were performed by means of SHEVR lifting gear belonging to ALE. Specialized self-propelled module transporters were used to deliver the unit.

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2.5 km of the road adjacent to the pier were strengthened, and the reactor vessel – the main part for the first plant unit – was delivered to the site. Total network of new roads, laid as per Canadian technology by means of Tomac, pavers came over 14 km.

The shipping «triad» was completed by a set of railways. Though the first OOG cargo was expected to hit the railway last November, it became possible to perform the shipment on February, 1, 2012 only, when the first out of four steam generators was forwarded to the construction site of Novovoronezhskaya NPP-2. Production of all four generators had been completed in 2011 but they had been kept in stock at the factory prior to completion of building approach railways to NPP.

Loading of the vessel lasted for two weeks, as it was the first time when a cargo with these dimensions and weight (diameter – 4.5m, height – 5.17m, length with loading gear – 15.8m and the overall weight with equipment – 430 tons) was carried by railroad.
– When we were told the railways were finally ready, we began preparations for loading of the steam generator: ordered a special transporter for moving heavy cargo and an escort railcar, – told Vladimir Pikhtin, Company’s Head of Contracts and Supply. – It is a multiple transporter, equipped with hydraulic lifting gear and a transverse shift system.

In Russia it is the only transporter with 500 tons of lifting capacity and the length of 65m under loaded weight. Special measures on bringing the railways in concordance with such dimensions were conducted along the route. The other three ready steam generators will be handled as scheduled.

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Truck delivery was also useful here. Thus, FinTransCompany performed transportation of tanks for Novovoronezhskaya NPP from Tambov to Novovoronezh. The diameter of this cargo ran to 4.35m.

The first tank of passive reflooding system was trucked in the same way. Carriage was completed by AET Trans together with their partner MBM-Trans. The weight of this load came to 80.9 tons, dimensions – 10.5 x 4.7 x 4.7m. Altogether 16 similar vessels are being constructed at the factory for the new nuclear power plant.
As for this year, assembly of equipment will be the priority at the plant. Equipment deliveries, including abnormal loads, are still under way. In particular, steam generators, unit transformers, turbine generators and a shipping lock will be moved to the site.

Novovoronezhskaya NPP has shown how a large infrastructure facility not only provides a number of freight and assembly companies with work, but also shows capability of Russian companies to tackle the hardest transport and logistics tasks.