A construction licence has been issued for the second unit at phase two of the Leningrad nuclear power plant (Leningrad II) by Russian nuclear regulator Rostekhnadzor.
|Construction could soon start on the site already cleared for unit 2 at Leningrad II (Image: AEP)
The licence granted to plant owner Energoatom is valid until 14 July 2019, but work is likely to begin a lot sooner than that, judging by images of the ready-cleared site. Oleg Lebedev, head of Energoatom's directorate for the construction of Leningrad II, said that issuance of the construction licence marked the beginning of the main stage of work on the second unit. He added, "We hope that this year we will complete concreting of the foundation plates of the four key facilities: the reactor, the security and auxiliary buildings, and the turbine hall."
The construction licence for the first reactor of Leningrad II was issued in June 2008. The first two units will be of the new AES-2006 model VVER pressurised water reactor (PWR) design. The first of the 1170 MWe reactors is scheduled for commissioning in October 2013 and the second a year later. These AES-2006 units are expected to be built at a cost of some $3.0-3.7 billion per pair. Leningrad II would eventually boast four AES-2006 reactors.
The Leningrad plant is currently home to four operating 1000 MWe RBMK reactors, all of which are nearing the end of their operating lives. A construction contract for Leningrad II was signed with St Petersburg-based AtomEnergoProekt in August 2007 and site licences granted the following month. AtomEnergoProekt signed a 136 billion rouble ($5.8 billion) state contract in March 2008 for the construction of first two new units at Leningrad II.
AtomEnergoProekt began pouring the concrete for the foundation plate of the reactor building of the first of the two new units at the Leningrad II plant in October 2008. The foundation plate was completed in June 2009. Now that the construction licence has been issued for the second reactor, workers are ready to start concreting the foundation plate for that unit.