Special design bureau of Leningrad Kirov Plant (OKB LKZ) – now Joint Stock company “Central Design Bureau of Machine Building” (JSC “CDBMB”) - was established by the decree of the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR № 3175-963сс "On implementation of design and manufacture of pilot separating gaseous turbocompressors of horizontal type at Leningrad Kirov Plant" of December 27, 1945.
OKB LKZ and special design bureau of Gorkovsky Machine Building Plant have developed 16 standard sizes and designs of diffusion machines. All gaseous diffusion plants, specializing in separation of uranium isotopes, were equipped with such machines. Besides that, OKB LKZ has developed over 40 items of main and auxiliary equipment for the diffusion plants. As early as 1949, the first kilograms of enriched uranium were produced at the first gaseous diffusion plant D-1, where the separating cascade included more than 5000 machines. The first uranium atomic bomb was successfully tested in the USSR in 1951. In 1958-1960, the specialists of the company were involved in delivery of gaseous diffusion equipment for the People's Republic of China (PRC).
In the 1950s, the company developed a gaseous centrifuge and initiated a change-over of the industry sector to centrifugal technology. Six generations of centrifuges have been designed. During these years the performance of the centrifuges increased by several times, service life extended from 3 years to 30 years, and the cost of separating work unit decreased. To the present time, Russia continues being a leader in performance of such equipment and significantly outstrips many developed countries in the area of development of centrifuges intended for producing stable isotopes.
At the end of 1952, the company was assigned with development of canned motor pumps for the nuclear steam-generating plants of submarines of the country's Navy. As early as 1953, the first pump of the primary circuit (CEN-402 type) was manufactured; later the pump (GCENPK-601 type) was manufactured. This was the beginning of development of a series of pumps (GCEN-146, VCEN-147, GCEN-146P, and VCEN-147P types) for nuclear submarines of the first generation. Starting from 1962, pumps for nuclear submarines of next generation have been developed (GCEN-162, VCEN-162, CEN-181MN, and CEN-188 types) for nuclear icebreakers of "Siberia" type and for light-draft icebreakers. The canned reactor coolant pumps were widely used at NPPs of the first generation. In these pumps the motor stator was separated from the rotor by thin metal baffle providing no contact with the pumped coolant while rotor rotated in the pumped medium. Several tens of such pumps with 4.5-2400 kW motors have been developed and introduced.
The most commonly used reactor coolant pumps are pumps of GCN-310 type installed at Novovoronezh NPP (Russia, Units 3&4), at Kola NPP (Russia, Units 1&2), at Bohunice NPP (Slovakia, Units 1&2), and at Kozloduy NPP (Bulgaria, Units 1-4). Total operating life of GCN-310 is 1800 reactor-years. Maximum operating life of GCN-310 is 200 000 hours. Serial pumps of GCN-195M type with shaft sealing for NPPs with VVER-1000 reactors have been designed and manufactured. Pump sets of export modification (GCNA-1391 type) of improved safety and reliability with water lubricated bearings were delivered to Bushehr NPP (the Islamic Republic of Iran) and Tianwan NPP (the People's Republic of China).
In 1954 at the initiative of the Chief Designer of OKB LKZ (N.M. Sinev) and the Director of the Leipunsky Institute of Physics and Power Engineering (A.K. Krasin), who was one of the designers of the first NPP in the world, it was decided to carry out research works for NPP with water-cooled thermal-neutron reactor and turbine-generator unit located at self-propelled track platform. The plant was conventionally named as TES-3. In 1957, technical assignment was approved and the Decree of the USSR Council of Ministers was issued and by the end of 1958 the detailed design of the plant was developed, production was launched and experimental works were initiated. On July 7, 1961 in the Leipunsky Institute of Physics and Power Engineering (Obninsk) the reactor reached criticality. On October 14, 1961 the power start-up of the plant took place. On February 19, 1962 the plant reached rated capacity of 1.5 MW and supplied power to Mosenergo system. The first cycle of pilot operation of TES-3 plant was completed in 1966 reaching the end of the life time of the first core fuel loading.
By the Order of the Ministry, the works on the "Yenisei" space nuclear power system (SNPS) were initiated in 1963. SNPS was being designed under the Government Decree and technical assignment of the Design Bureau of Applied Mechanics. In the 70-80s, the development of "Yenisei" SNPS was carried out by the National Research Center "Kurchatov Institute", the Research Institute and Scientific-Production Association "Luch" (Podolsk), the Physics and Technology Institute (Sukhumi), the Leipunsky Institute of Physics and Power Engineering (Obninsk), the Ioffe Physics and Technology Institute, "Dvigatel" plant (Estonia, Tallinn), the Central Research Institute of Structural Materials "Prometey", etc. The full cycle of technological and experimental development of SNPS was completed in 1985. All basic parameters of the technical assignment including power (~5.5 kW), mass-overall characteristics and 1.5 year life time were verified.
Within a framework of the International Program "Topaz" (participants: the USA, England, France and Russia), approved by the Governments of the USA and Russia, in 1991-1997 in the University of New Mexico two prototypes V-71 and YA-21U successfully passed electric power tests which proved the leadership of Russia in the field of space nuclear power engineering.
In 1967, Special Design Bureau OKB-4, established at the plant named in honor of Ya.M. Sverdlov in 1956 for development of special remotely-operated equipment for nuclear science, joined JSC "CDBMB". Over these years, JSC "CDBMB" has developed and manufactured a great number of remotely-operated machines, manipulators, reloaders and other equipment intended for hot cells. In the field of stationary nuclear power engineering, a unique achievement is the development of RZM-488 reloader for high-power channel reactor of RMBK type. The reloader provides transport and handling operations of fuel assemblies both upon shutdown and operation of reactors of RMBK-1000 and RMBK-1500 types. Eighteen realoders were manufactured from 1973 to 1988. To enhance NPP safe operation, the RZM-488 reloader is under improvement followed by the meeting up-to-date requirements.
The following equipment complexes were developed and introduced in the field of marine nuclear power engineering: equipment for refuelling reactors of nuclear icebreakers "Lenin" and "Arctic" in 1972, equipment for replacement and maintenance of OK-500 plants in 1975, equipment for refuelling reactors of nuclear icebreakers "Arctic" and "Siberia" in 1981-1982, equipment for refueling nuclear icebreakers in 1986.
Remotely-operated equipment providing handling of radioactive substances was developed, manufactured and introduced at NPPs (Beloyarsk NPP, Novovoronezh NPP, Leningrad NPP, Kursk NPP, etc.), in the research institutions and at industrial plants (the National Research Center "Kurchatov Institute", the Scientific Research Institute of Atomic Reactors - JSC "SSC RIAR", Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute named by B.P. Konstantinov of National Research Center "Kurchatov Institute" (PNPI), etc.), the Production Association "Mayak" (Tomsk), etc. Equipment complex for the first Russian plant RT-1 intended for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel and equipment for hot cells intended for dismantling space nuclear power plants "Buk", "Topol", "Romashka", "Yenisei" were developed. This required the engineers to develop equipment having no analogues in the world such as milling machines, turning lathes, cutting machines, boring machines, lifting-turning tables, clamping mechanisms, grippers, and other remotely-operated equipment for hot cells.
Over the decades JSC "CDBMB" has developed, manufactured and applied equipment for nuclear industry by many indicators going ahead of the similar equipment of other foreign manufacturers which led to patent protection of inventions. The achievements of JSC "CDBMB" in developing new equipment were greatly appreciated: in 1970 JSC "CDBMB" was awarded with the Lenin Order; the Director of the company P.Z. Cherepanov and his Deputy V.I. Sergeev were given the title of Hero of Socialist Labor. The dozens of employees became winners of the State award, the Lenin award, the award of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, the RF Government award; many were awarded by awards and medals.
During the period of its existence CDBMB successfully developed, manufactured and put into operation equipment intended for atomic industry. As this equipment has no analogues or at least is not inferior to comparable foreign equipment but exceeds it by many of its parameters, this made possible to protect the developments by patents.
CDBMB’s services in creation of new equipment received a high appraisal: in 1970 the enterprise was awarded the order of Lenin; the director P.Z. Tcherepanov and his deputy V.I. Sergeev acquired the title of a Hero of Socialist Labour , more than 50 employees became winners of state , Lenin, USSR Council of Ministers, and RF government prizes; many employees were awarded orders and medals.