JENKINSVILLE, S.C.--Westinghouse Electric Company’s successful placement of the reactor vessel into the nuclear island of the AP1000 Unit 2 at the V.C. Summer site on Aug. 30 marks a major shift in the project from solely structural work to assembly of the unit’s reactor system itself, including pumps, piping and cabling.
“The reactor vessel is the heart of the AP1000 plant, and its placement signals a pivot point for the construction phase of the project at V.C. Summer Unit 2,” said Jeff Benjamin, Westinghouse senior vice president, New Plants and Major Projects. “With the reactor vessel in place, the focus will shift to installing the steam generators later this year, and then the plant will start to come to life with initial energization of systems next year.”
The reactor vessel, which weighs 278 metric tons, is the main structure used to support and house the reactor core and all associated components including the reactor vessel internals which support and stabilize the core within the reactor vessel, provide the path for coolant flow and guide movement of the control rods.
The nuclear island where the reactor vessel is housed also includes the steel containment vessel, the concrete shield building and the auxiliary building. These structures are part of the AP1000 plant’s standard design that encompasses innovative passive safety systems to achieve safe shutdown of the plant in the unlikely event of a design-basis emergency.
In addition to Unit 2, Westinghouse also is constructing an additional AP1000 unit at V.C. Summer for South Carolina Electric and Gas Company and two AP1000 units for Georgia Power Company at Plant Vogtle in Waynesboro, Georgia. The company is nearing completion of the first four AP1000 plants which are located in China at Sanmen and Haiyang.
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