Four decades ago the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant located near Leningrad was called the “construction project of the century”, the “flagship of the Soviet power industry” and an “atomic hero”. With the rapidly developing industry, in the 1960s the city on the Neva River, as well as all the entire North-West began to suffer from an acute shortage of electric power. It was then that it had been decided to build a nuclear power plant with two powerful reactors of one million kilowatts each rather than planned thermal State District Power Plant No. 16.
Power engineers selected a revolutionary design for a power plant with nuclear fuel, which was based on a RBMK-1000 uranium-graphite high-power channel-type reactor and which had been proposed by a think tank headed by Academician A.P. Aleksandrov. The construction of the plant started in May 1967; the first, second and third units were commissioned in December 1973, three years later and another three years later, respectively, and, after the last, fourth, unit, reached the estimated capacity, in August 1981 the world’s largest 4-mln-kW nuclear power plant became fully operational.
It was a real victory and the result of the creativity and hard work of scientists, designers, manufacturers, builders and installers. During the same years, a young town of Sosnovy Bor which was rightly considered one of the most beautiful Russian towns was growing near the unique Leningrad NPP. Its residential blocks emerged alongside with the units of the nuclear power plant, the buildings of scientific institutes and industrial enterprises. Sosnovy Bor is still called an Atomic Town as it had been originally built as a satellite town of the Leningrad NPP.
The following companies that now are part of TITAN-2 Group were directly involved in the construction of the nuclear giant and development of the town: MSU 90 and MSU 32 (OJSC MSU 90 and JSC SEM), OJSC UAT, OJSC UPP, as well as Sosnovoborsk Design and Survey Institute VNIPIET and divisions of PJSC SUS.
The terms of reference for the design of the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant were signed by Yefim Pavlovich Slavskiy, Minister of Medium Mechanical Engineering, on April 15, 1966.
On November 11, 1966 an order was issued to establish SUS (at the premises of Construction Department 411 aka mail box no. 2808).
In October 1966 and on December 27 UAT and UPP that was part of the SUS were established respectively.
By an Order of February 27, 1968, MSU 32 was established as part of Promelektromontazh Group at the construction site of the Leningrad NPP.
By an Order of May 27, 1968, independent MSU 90 was established as part of Energospetsmontazh Group to work on the Leningrad NPP as well.
The Government ordered Sosnovoborsk Design and Survey Institute VNIPIET, the general designer, to design the Leningrad NPP. A department for the designer’s comprehensive supervision over the construction of the nuclear power plant was created as part of Integrated Design Bureau No. 4 and was later transformed into a permanent design unit of Sosnovoborsk Design and Survey Institute VNIPIET in Sosnovy Bor.
The construction of the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant has become an important milestone in the history of the pioneering companies.
The works had to start under severe conditions such as the swampiness of the construction site, an increased groundwater level and a lot of tillstones (they were blown up, crushed and removed — 12 thousand cubic meters of such tillstones have been removed from the first reactor unit’s pit alone). To ensure the normal operation of earthmovers and motor vehicles, roads were constructed and powerful pump stations were used. Along with the construction of the nuclear power plant, a building industry base was created. By 1970, a concrete plant, a reinforced concrete product plant, a reinforced concrete product yard and reinforcement, wood and gypsum concrete partition shops had been in operation; a motor vehicle depot had been expanded three times, etc.
The construction of such a highly technically complex building full of unique equipment as the nuclear power plant required particular focus on personnel.
A team of construction electricians from MSU 32 has created a unique system of high-power transformers and 110, 330 and 750 kV outdoor switchyards. At that time there were only two such transmission lines 750 in the country as those of the Leningrad NPP. The construction electricians have installed complex electrical machines that had no equals and smart data processing systems such as Skala and TITAN, have connected loads of electrical equipment and instrumentation and have laid thousands of kilometers of cables and high-voltage lines.
Experts from MSU 90 and MSU 32 worked on all four units of the Leningrad NPP. After it was put into operation in 1981, they took part in the construction of two units of the Ignalina NPP (Lithuania), chemical plants in Uch-Kuduk (Uzbekistan), Zheltye Vody (Ukraine) and Sillamäe (Estonia), facilities of Mayak Production Association in Chelyabinsk-40, coastal repair facilities for the nuclear submarines of the Northern Fleet, mining and refining facilities in Sortavala and Krasnokamensk and the Radium Institute. They have fulfilled orders from various research institutions such as the Aleksandrov Institute of Research and Technology, Central Mechanical Engineering Design Bureau, D.V. Efremov Institute of Electrophysical Apparatus, Sosnovoborsk Design and Survey Institute VNIPIET, Leningrad Nuclear Physics Institute (now called Konstantinov Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute) and Vavilov State Institute of Optics.
It is specifically worth mentioning that the Company’s installers have taken part in mitigating the consequences of the Chernobyl accident and the 1988 Armenian earthquake.
Sosnovy Bor was a workers’ settlement that emerged after the Second World War on the south coast of the Gulf of Finland. In the 1950s-1960s, it was there that divisions of the Construction Department of SDPP-16 and legendary Ministry of Medium Mechanical Engineering constructed a 40-kilometer string of the main gas pipeline from Kokhtla-Yarve, equipped it with a reliable dispatch communication system, constructed transforming substations and a boiler room and laid a phone line to Lomonosov and Leningrad. They had constructed a bathhouse, a school, a fire station, a nursery, a pump station and the first two-storey houses in the village. According to the then tradition, facilities under construction were called “mail boxes” and were located in such a way that they could be seen neither from the road, nor from the bay.
At that time everything related to nuclear power was classified. Later mail boxes nos. 26 and 25 became known as the Leningrad Specialized Integrated Plant “Radon” and the State Test Station for the Exploitation and Study of Marine Nuclear Power Plants (NITI).
The construction process was quite dynamic, but after it had been decided to construct the Leningrad NPP, it became even faster. At that time the teams of MSU 90 and MSU 32 comprised highly qualified specialists who had been engaged from all over the country as the most competent ones experienced in the construction of chemical and nuclear facilities. They had been involved in the construction of the first industrial reactors in such high-security towns as Tomsk-7, Krasnoyarsk-26 and Chelyabinsk-40 and the world’s first nuclear desalination plant at the Mangyshlak Peninsula, as well as in the elimination of the 1957 accident at Mayak Plant. Their experience gained in various parts of the country has become even more unique following the construction of the Leningrad NPP, which was the largest not only in the Soviet Union, but also in the world. During its construction many things were defined as “pioneering” and “unique”, starting from the equipment that had been designed and manufactured for the first time ever. Accordingly, the specialists were inexperienced in the installation of such equipment.
However, the pace of the works, the terms of the start-up, and the durability and operating reliability, of the equipment depended primarily on the quality of installation and welding. Pipelines, reactor structures and other equipment arrived to the construction site as separate parts. It was then that the construction electricians from MSU 90 used the pre-assembly method which has allowed to save a huge amount of time. The volumes were impressive as well.
The total weight of the equipment, pipelines and metalwork amounted to tens of thousands of tons and welded joints in the pipelines and reactor systems numbered more than one hundred thousand. Deposited weld metal alone weighed up to 700 tons per unit.
The experience gained was applied to each subsequent unit, which allowed to reduce the installation time and often turned out to be a record. Thus, during the installation of the frame of the third unit’s building, the rate of the installation of metalwork reached up to 1,560 tons per month (or up to 1 ton per shift worker). During the installation of the fourth unit’s reactor, a unique operation has been performed: a reloading trestle with two crane beams weighing several hundred tons and about 40 meters high was moved to a new location without being dismantled. An engineering analysis had confirmed that the construction electricians’ ambitious plans could be implemented, and they have been turned into reality. There are a lot of such examples! As a result, the fourth unit’s reactor has been installed within only 5.5 months, i.e. 4 times faster than the third unit. The basic assembly of the last turbine has also been completed within a record time which has been twice as little as the scheduled one. Economic changes in the country have adversely affected each and every enterprise.
In the 1990s, following a privatization procedure, MSU 90 and MSU 32 were transformed into Open Joint-Stock Companies MSU 90 and SEM. In 1995, the two installation companies merged and established CJSC CONCERN TITAN-2, thus giving rise to TITAN-2 Holding as an independent structure capable of ensuring the implementation of a project of any complexity, from design to turnkey delivery.
In 1996–2002 the Group actively developed.
It comprised OJSC UAT, a motor company, and OJSC UPP, the largest construction base in the North-West with concrete and asphalt plants, quarries of building materials and a modern production base. The following construction and specialized companies became part of the Group or were established by the latter: CJSC TITANSTROYMONTAZH, LLC SOSNOVOBORSTROY, CJSC TITANSANTEKHMONTAZH, CJSC GIDROMONTAZH, CJSC LAESENERGOREMONT, CJSC TITANZHILKOM and others.
In 2003, OJSC MSU 90 and OJSC SEM merged their production bases to establish a plant called JSC TITANIT. The plant produced construction and technological metalwork, process pipelines, parts and components of ventilation systems, plumbing and electrical products.
In 2004–2006, the Group established LLC FINECO, OJSC TITANENERGONALADKA, LLC REGIONAL LEASING COMPANY, LLC NEW FORM, CJSC ATOMSPETSTEKHNOLOGIYA, LLC TITANSPETSKONT, LLC TITANSTROYSERVIS, LLC EKOAUDIT KONSALT and other companies.
In 2007, it created TITAN-RESOURCE Group, a new major association that was part of TITAN-2 Group. The said production and logistics complex comprised several companies that manufactured and supplied nonmetallic construction materials, concrete mixtures and foam concrete, and had its own railway rolling stock.
In 2008, a corporate association brought together the resources of TITAN-2 Group, OJSC Northern Construction Directorate and the Russian National Design and Research Institute of Integrated Power Engineering Technology (VNIPIET) for the comprehensive and effective implementation of turnkey industrial and civil construction projects, the implementation of measures aimed to strengthen its human resource capacity, the improvement of its project management system and modernization of its design and planning software.
Since 2009, TITAN-2 Construction Group has been a top four hundred largest Russian company. It is charged with the construction of most important nuclear and thermal power, oil, gas and chemical facilities that are constructed on a full-cycle basis, from the development of design documents to turn-key project delivery, including the supply and commissioning of equipment. Today the Group employs over five and a half thousand specialists.
In 2011, the Company’s specialists worked at fifteen major facilities in eight Russian regions. Each of our projects represents our contribution to the economic empowerment of the country and improvement of people’s lives.
In 2015, TITAN-2 Group entered the international arena, having become a key contractor for the construction of the Hanhikivi-1 Nuclear Power Plant in the north of Finland in Pyhäjoki.
While preserving the traditions of professional excellence and heritage of the builders of the first nuclear power plants, the Holding’s experts work in strict compliance with the provisions of Russian and international law.
Today the Group is justifiably proud of its history and faces the future with confidence. Modern technologies rapidly evolve, which means that the production facilities and highly qualified personnel of TITAN-2 will always be in demand to construct the most sophisticated modern facilities.