First concrete for new reactor at Novovoronezh-II

25 June 2008

First concrete for a new reactor has been poured at the Novovoronezh phase II nuclear power plant, marking the official start of construction. This is the first unit in Russia's new wave of construction, which could benefit in future from foreign investment. 


Novovoronezh NPP 
Novovoronezh phase I. Phase II is an
adjacent site (Image: Rosenergoatom)
The concrete itself went towards producing the basemat for the reactor building of the first of four forthcoming Novovoronezh-II units, marking the official start of construction. Each of the units is to be a VVER-1200 class unit built to the AES-2006 design.


A ceremony was held at the construction site on 23 June, attended by the governor of Voronezh region, Vladimir Kulkov, and high-ranking officials from the Rosatom state nuclear company. Also in attendance were Vladimir Generalov, the director general of main contractor AtomEnergoProekt, as well as representatives of operator Rosenergoatom and the forthcoming giant company that will include virtually all of Russia's nuclear manpower, AtomEnergoProm.


Novovonorezh-II units 1 and 2 are pencilled in to start up in 2012 and 2013, while dates are yet to be set for units 3 and 4. The cost of constructing units 1 and 2, which will produce 2136 MWe, has been put at about $5 billion.


The original Novonoronezh site nearby already hosts five reactors. The oldest two are in the process of decommissioning; units 3 and 4 have had 15-year license extensions which put their shutdown dates in 2016 and 2017; and unit 5 is still planned to close in 2010, although a license extension is expected.


The upsurge in nuclear construction in Russia, which is planned to total some new 42 reactors by 2020, similarly includes four new units at the new Leningrad phase II site. The majority of the new units will be standardized VVER-1200s but various other types are included, such as one fast-breeder and six small VBER-300s.


Further build to draw foreign investment


Kiriyenko, Ivanov and Pulikovsky 
Sergei Kiriyenko with Sergei Ivanov
and chief safety regulator Konstantin
Pulikovsky at the Atomcon event
(Image: RIA Novosti)
At a nuclear power conference in Moscow earlier today, Russia's deputy prime minister, Sergei Ivanov, said there could be opportunities for foreign firms to take part in the Russian build program. "In addition to large-scale investment of state funds, we have grounds to count on substantial private investment. The Russian nuclear sector is now open to cooperation, not only with domestic businesses, but also with foreign investors," he said.


Ivanov's words came during the opening day of the inaugural Atomcon conference, where Sergei Kiriyeno, director general of the Rosatom company added that Russia would also invest in other countries. "We are ready to invest in the construction of nuclear power plants abroad, share risks and sell electricity," said Kiriyenko.