Steel component weighing 210 tons and measuring almost 47 meters across was hoisted by two of the most powerful cranes in the world
- By Stephen Heiser -
Construction by AREVA of the Olkiluoto 3 EPR reactor in Finland has reached a major milestone with the installation of the reactor building dome. The steel component weighing 210 tons and measuring almost 47 meters across was hoisted by two of the most powerful cranes in the world and lowered into place 44 meters above the ground. The inner section of the reactor building is now completely covered and to seal it, the dome will be welded around its circumference and covered with 7,000 tons of concrete.
The erection of the dome required several months of preparatory work inside the reactor building during which the polar crane was installed and the 8.3-meter wide heavy equipment hatch created in the inside wall.
"Olkiluoto 3 is the first third generation plant in the world with a fully sealed reactor building. The lowering of the dome marks the end of the civil works phase and the start of the erection phase. All that remains is to install the pipes and commission the plant" said Jean-Pierre Mouroux, General Manager for the project. "At a time when nuclear power requirements are increasing sharply worldwide, this project gives AREVA unrivalled experience in the advanced reactor market".
The AREVA-Siemens consortium employees 3,600 people from 60 countries on the Olkiluoto 3 site. Heavy component manufacture and supply will continue through 2009.
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It is a great achievement in the face of controversies. When will the weld between Dome and Building will be tested for strength and leak tightness?