Kalinin 4 accepted for commercial operation

26 September 2012

A ceremony has been held to mark the formal acceptance for commercial operation of unit 4 of the Kalinin plant by its owner, Rosenergoatom.

Kalinin 4 (Rosatom)
Kalinin 4 (Image: Rosatom)

Rosatom director general Sergey Kiriyenko noted that Kalinin 4 was completed on schedule and for 7 billion rubles ($240 million) less than the 76 billion rubles ($2.4 billion) allocated to the project.

Kalinin 4 is a 950 MWe V-320 model VVER-1000 - the same as unit 3, which was approved in 1985 and eventually completed in 2004. Units 1 and 2 at the site are V-338 model VVER-1000s which began commercial operation in 1985 and 1987, respectively. The Kalinin plant is situated in the western Tver region near the town of Udomlya.

Unit 4 at Kalinin has had a long gestation period, having been approved under the Soviet system in 1985. Construction began in August 1986 but stalled in 1991 while the plant was only 20% complete. The project then spent a decade on hold before a return to full construction began in late 2007. This was then accelerated somewhat by the use of pre-existing heavy components that had originally been intended for the then stalled Belene project in Bulgaria. Fuel was loaded into the reactor in October 2011 and first criticality was achieved the following month.

Following the successful completion in April of the last of 74 tests in its start-up program, Kalinin 4 moved to the final stage of its commissioning program, trial commercial operation. Its capacity was gradually increased to the full rated thermal power of 3200 MWt, producing 1000 MWe of electricity for the grid, during which a series of tests were conducted to confirm the design parameters of the unit's reliability and safety. Once those tests were completed, the reactor was subjected to a commissioning test, during which it ran at full power for 72 hours. This was successfully completed in early August.

Russia now has 33 nuclear power reactors in operation with a combined capacity of 24,164 MWe and a further ten units under construction.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News