A ceremony took place at unit 4 of the Kalinin nuclear power plant on 12 November to mark the resumption of the Russian reactor's construction. During the ceremony, the first concrete was poured for the reactor building foundation slab.
Among the guests attending the ceremony were the governor of Tver region, Dmitri Zelenin, the acting director general of Rosenergoatom Alexander Lokshin, and the director of the Kalinin plant Leonid Martynovchenko.
Lokshin commented during the ceremony: "We have been waiting for this day for a long time. Today, we are implementing a large-scale program - a program many people have already called 'nuclear renaissance.' We are doing our best to carry the program through as our development is impossible without nuclear energy."
Construction of Kalinin 4, a 1000 MWe, V-320 design VVER-1000 pressurized water reactor, originally started in August 1986, having been approved along with its twin unit Kalinin 3 by the energy ministry of the USSR in October 1985. However, construction of unit 4 was suspended in June 1991 when it was 20% complete. Work on Kalinin 3 continued at a slow pace and the unit finally entered commercial operation in December 2004.
On 22 October 2002, Russia's minister of atomic energy and the governor of the Tver region signed a declaration of intent to resume building the reactor. The decision to complete the unit was eventually approved by the deputy head of the Federal Agency for Nuclear Energy (Rosatom) on 16 February 2006. The government pledged $665 million in 2007 towards completing three partially completed units: Volgodonsk 2 and Kalinin 4 (both VVER-1000s) and Beloyarsk 4 (a BN-800 fast-breeder reactor).
Rosenergoatom submitted a construction licence application to the Russian regulatory body, Rostekhnadzor, on 25 January 2007 and on 2 July Nizhny Novgorod-based Atomenergoproekt was awarded the contract to supervise completion. A construction licence for the reactor was granted to Rosenergoatom by Rostekhnadzor on 7 September. The licence is valid until 6 September 2017. Kalinin 4 is scheduled to be commissioned in 2011.
In October 2006, the Russian government approved a nuclear development program for 2007-10. Russia intends to launch ten new nuclear power reactors by 2015 with a total generating capacity of 11 GWe, pushing up the nuclear share of generation to 22-30% from the 15.5% currently produced by the country's 31 units. Total funding for the development programme is estimated at 1471 billion roubles ($55 billion), including 674.8 billion roubles ($26 billion) from the federal budget.
WNA's Nuclear Power in Russia information paper
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