Life extension for South Ukraine unit 1

10 December 2013

Ukraine's nuclear regulator has approved a ten-year licence extension for unit 1 at the South Ukraine nuclear power plant following major upgrade work. The unit is now licensed to operate beyond its original 30-year design lifetime.

South Ukraine (South Ukraine NPP)_460
South Ukraine (Image: South Ukraine NPP)

Ukraine's State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate (SNRI) has now issued 950 MWe VVER unit, which entered commercial operation in 1983, with an operating licence that expires in December 2023. The unit is currently undergoing pre-startup tests after a 280-day outage during which repairs, reconstruction and modernization work has been undertaken to ensure the reactor is in line with the latest standards. This has included incorporating measures identified in stress tests performed following the Fukushima Daiichi accident. The unit must undergo a full periodic safety reassessment in 2018 if operator Energoatom wishes to extend the licence beyond 2023.

Nuclear power plant life extensions are identified as a priority under Ukraine's energy strategy to 2030. South Ukraine 1 is the third reactor - after Rovno units 1 and 2 - to receive a licence extension from SNRI. Similar extensions are planned for South Ukraine's other two units, which are currently licensed until 2015 and 2019 respectively.

Earlier this year, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) agreed to provide loans totalling €300 million ($388 million) to bring all 15 of Ukraine's operating nuclear power reactors in line with modern safety standards. The project, estimated to cost €1.4 billion ($1.8 billion) in total, is due to be completed by the end of 2017.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News