New plugging manipulator designed for Zaporizhzhia NPP arrived to Ukraine
When VUJE signed the contract at the end of October 2021, no one could tell what flavor the following year would have. The project begun at the end of 2021 during Coronavirus pandemic restrictions with kick-off meeting online and should have continued as usual with the technical meetings on site in Ukraine in February 2022. Unfortunately, because of the circumstances, this did not happen.
Building on previous experiences with similar projects in Ukraine and thanks to the intensive communication between VUJE and Zaporizhzhia NPP in 2021 and in the beginning of 2022, we were able to precisely define all the customer's needs. Based on these, VUJE presented turnkey solution customized to Zaporizhzhia NPP requirements.
Delivery includes not only the manipulator, but also the automated drying system, mobile container for all tools and accessories, office shelter equipped with control system, and the testing stand. For the first time ever, we delivered a complex system for the whole procedure of plugging including drying of the steam generator, both surface of collector and heat exchange tubes.
Remote controlled manipulator was designed to perform drying, cleaning of the surface around the heat exchanging tube, drilling of the opening for a plug, insertion and orbital welding of the plug, as well as visual inspection of the weld. The system is also able to replace defective plugs as well as old manually welded plugs.
Despite all threats and the danger to which are exposed colleagues in Zaporizhzia NPP, they bravely managed to continue working on the project. Before the delivery of the system to Ukraine, an independent commission consisting of representatives of other three Ukrainian NPP’s participated on FAT tests in VUJE. All the functions and capabilities of the system were thoroughly verified. Due to continuing unfavorable situation, the delivery was transferred to other safe place in Ukraine where right after SAT tests project will be successfully completed.
VUJE design team has more than 30 years of experience with design and development of inspection and maintenance manipulators for WWER steam generators. Since the very beginning of 21st century, when the automated plugging technology was introduced to NPPs, VUJE developed already 3 generations of such a systems and delivered 14 systems to 11 nuclear power plants with WWER units in 5 countries. The current one - ZOK-OPZ 21 manipulator – waits for its first deployment during the outage in Zaporizhzhia NPP right after its liberation.