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Chornobyl Initiatives Reports and Publications Photo Library Nuclear Reactor Profiles and Accomplishments About our Program Web site sections
- Introduction
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- RBMK-1000
- VVER-1000
- VVER-440/230 / 213
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Reactor Types: | RBMK | VVER 440/213 | VVER 440/230 | VVER 1000

Reactor
Cutaway The VVER-1000

The VVER-1000 design was developed between 1975 and 1985 based on the requirements of a new Soviet nuclear standard that incorporated some international practices, particularly in the area of plant safety.

Principal Strengths:

  • Steel-lined, pre-stressed, large-volume concrete containment structure, similar in function to Western nuclear plants.

  • "Evolutionary" design incorporating safety improvements over VVER-440 Model V213 plants. The Soviet approach to standardization was based on continued use of components that had performed well in earlier plants.

  • Use of four coolant loops and horizontal steam generators--both considered improvements by Soviet designers.

  • Redesigned fuel assemblies that allow better flow of coolant, and improved control rods.

  • Plant worker radiation levels reportedly lower than in many Western plants, apparently due to selection of materials, high-capacity system for purifying primary coolant, and water-chemistry control.

    Principal Deficiencies:

  • Substandard plant instrumentation and controls. Wiring of emergency electrical system and reactor-protection system does not meet Western standards for separation--control and safety functions are inter connected in ways that may allow failure of a control system to prevent operation of a safety system.

  • Fire-protection systems that do not appear to differ substantially from earlier VVER models, which do not meet Western standards.

  • Quality-control, design and construction significantly deficient by U.S. standards.

  • Protection measures for control-room operators essentially unchanged from earlier VVER-440 Model V213 design, which does not meet U.S. standards. Unlike all U.S. nuclear plants, and most in Western countries, VVER-1000s have no on-site "technical support center" to serve as a command post for stabilizing the plant in an emergency. Technical support centers were incorporated in U.S. and many Western nuclear plants following the accident at Three Mile Island Unit 2 in 1979.

  • Operating and emergency procedures that fall far short of Western standards and vary greatly among opera tors of VVER-1000 plants.

  • Higher power densities and smaller volume of primary and secondary systems result in a somewhat less forgiving and stable reactor.

  • Reactor Types: | RBMK | VVER 440/213 | VVER 440/230 | VVER 1000


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