The commissioning of Russia's newest nuclear power plant, Kalinin 4, has been marked by a visit from prime minister Vladimir Putin accompanied by Rosatom head Sergei Kiryenko.
|Sergei Kirieynko and Vladimir Putin (left and centre) applaud the commissioning of Russia's 33rd operating nuclear unit
(Image: Government of the Russian Federation)
The 950 MWe V-320 model VVER 1000 reached first criticality in early November. It is now operating at 50% power, and will ultimately provide up to 70% of the energy requirements of the Tver region.
Work originally started at the plant in 1986 but stalled in 1991 when the plant was only 20% complete. The project then spent a decade on hold before a return to full construction began in late 2007. In comments made during his visit to the site, Putin noted that the project had not so much been resumed as started anew. He was full of praise for Nizhny Novgorod-based Atomenergoproekt's achievement in completing the unit in such a short timescale.
As well as providing power for the Tver region, Putin also commented on the tax revenues that will be raised from the unit's operation, which Kiryenko put at some 2.5 billion roubles (approximately $79 million) for the next year. Kiriyenko told the prime minister that cost reduction programs, including the introduction of competitive bidding procedures for the procurement of goods and services and the de-monopolization of the market production of large-scale equipment, would yield expected savings of some RUB 23 billion (approximately $728 million) by the end of the year.
During his visit, Putin spent time with plant workers and encouraged those on other Russian reactor construction projects both at home and abroad. With ten units under construction on Russian soil, and a portfolio of foreign contracts which grew from 12 to 21 units in 2011, he said, the Russian power engineering industry had built up momentum for growth. "This is, in effect, a renaissance of the Russian nuclear industry," he told the workers.
Looking further ahead, Russian construction plans for the region include up to four VVER 1200 reactors at a new power station at Tver, not far from Kalinin. Environmental reviews for the first two units were announced in early 2010. During the visit Kiriyenko acknowledged that a "central nuclear power plant" for the region figured in Rosatom's master plan, but reiterated that no final decision had yet been made on whether that would be the Tver plant or another postulated new nuclear plant, Tsentral, at Kostroma.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News