Installation of the containment building dome at Rostov unit 3 has now been completed, plant owner Rosenergoatom announced.

The final section of the dome is lowered into place at Rostov 3 (Image: Rosenergoatom)

The metallic dome has been assembled and installed in stages. The final section - measuring 37 metres in diameter and weighing 165 tonnes - was raised and placed upon the top of the containment building on 29 October. The operation, using one of the world's largest cranes, took about one hour.

The dome forms part of the unit's double-walled containment structure - a major component for protecting the reactor and preventing the release of radioactive materials into the environment in the event of a serious accident.
Chief engineer of the Volgodonsk branch of Rossem Trust Alexander Masalykin, who supervised the installation of the containment dome, said: "This operation marks the end of general construction works." He noted that some 7000 tonnes of metalwork have been installed in the containment and the area within it.

Completion of the containment dome now allows work to progress on installing the main reactor island equipment, such as the reactor pressure vessel, steam generators and main circulation pipework. Rostov 3 will gave a generating capacity of 1100 MWe.

Four 1000 MWe VVER pressurized water reactors were planned at the Rostov site (formerly known as Volgodonsk) in the early 1980s. Construction of units 1 and 2 soon began, but progress was slow. The units did not eventually enter commercial operation until March 2001 and October 2010, respectively.

Rostov 3 and 4 were both ordered in 1983. In June 2009, NN-AEP, a subsidiary of AtomEnergoProm (AEP), won the tender as principal contractor for the construction of the units. Construction of unit 3 began again in late 2009. Units 3 and 4 are set to be completed by 2014 and 2016, respectively.