Romania's only nuclear power plant undergoes modernisation works

Diamond Drilling has undertaken decomissioning works at Romania’s only nuclear power plant ahead of modernisation

Romania’s only nuclear power plant has been partially decommissioned in order to facilitate its modernisation ahead of the planned completion of two new reactor units.

Cernavodă nuclear power plant, which is located on the Black Sea coast almost 150 km (93 miles) from Bucharest and which produces almost a fifth of Romania’s electricity, has prepared one of its two blocks for substantial upgrades.

As part of the works around 400 t of concrete was systematically decommissioned by Diamond Drilling.

The company used machines from Austria-based manufacturer Tyrolit to carry out the works in a controlled manner under the strictest of safety conditions.

Diamond Drilling cut out and removed 22 running metres (72 ft) of reinforced concrete walls measuring 4.5 m (15 ft) in height and 0.75 m (2 ft 5 in) in thickness.

Nine 5 m (16 ft) high concrete columns with basic measurements of 2.5 m (8ft) x 1.5 m (4 ft) and 1.5 m (4 ft) x 1.5 m (4 ft) were also removed. The company used Tyrolit’s WCE14 and SB-E electric wire saws, and a WSE2226 wall saw to complete the work.

In May of this year Cernavodă’s operator Nuclearelectrica signed a preliminary agreement for the construction and operation of two new reactors with China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN).

Five reactor units were originally planned at the site, but works were suspended in 1991 in order to focus on reactor number one, which became operational in 1996. Cernavodă’s second reactor was made operational in 2007.

They will be constructed by a joint venture between Canadian company Atomic Energy of Canada and Italian firm Ansaldo.

The agreement is an important step towards the completion of reactors number three and four, which like Cernavodă one and two, will also be 700MWe Candu 6 pressurised heavy water reactors.

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