Russia starts up Rostov 4 reactor

07 December 2017

Russia's newest reactor, Rostov 4, has started up for the first time. It is the third reactor to start at the site in just seven years, state nuclear corporation Rosatom noted. 

The new reactor unit achieved criticality yesterday, moving to the next stage of commissioning, a 25-day programme of checks during which operator Rosenergoatom will confirm the characteristics of the reactor core.

 

Rostov 1-4 (Rosatom) 460x306
The Rostov plant is "the basis of energy security in southern Russia", said Rosatom (Image: Rosatom)

 

The reactor is a 1011 MWe VVER-1000 unit designed by Gidropress and built by ASE. The Rostov site, in Russia's southern Rostov region, has been known in the past as Volgodonsk, the town around 13 km away. The plant provides 46% of electricity in the wider region, Rosatom said, and is "the basis of energy security for southern Russia".

Rostov 4 represents the last in Russia's series build of VVER-1000 units, which make up 13 of Russia's fleet of 23 operable power reactors. Together the fleet provides about 18% of electricity for the country.

Dignitaries on site to witness first criticality were Vasily Golubev, the governor of Rostov region, as well as Andrey Petrov, the head of Rosenergoatom, and Valery Limarenko, who is both head of ASE as wel as head of engineering at Rosatom.

 

Rostov 4 fuel loading celebration (Rosatom) 461x315
Rostov region governor Vasily Golubev (centre) joins with industry to celebrate the start-up (Image: Rosatom)

 

Petrov said "It is unprecedented that Rostov NPP is the only plant in Russia which started three units on one site over seven years." Unit 2 started in 2010, unit 3 in 2015 and now unit 4 has started. Petrov added, "We can and must be proud of the merit of our single team. We are fulfilling the main task of starting up power units set for us by the country's and the sector's leadership."

Limarenko said Rostov is a "showcase" in which ASE and Rosatom "test our cutting-edge project management technologies, implement digital solutions while gaining invaluable experience" which can be used at other facilities.

When Rostov 4 reaches full power and commercial operation next year, nuclear power wll provide 54% of power in southern Russia, Rosatom said. The unit will also bring RUB1.7 billion in property tax in its first year of operation. In the long term it will provide about RUB1 billion in taxes annually, the corporation added.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News