Westinghouse Achieves Pivot Point
“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.