Leningrad II-2 passes WANO pre-start peer review

11 August 2020

Experts from the Moscow Centre of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) have completed a pre-start-up peer review of unit 2 of the Leningrad II nuclear power plant in Western Russia. The purpose of review was to assess the readiness of the unit for safe start-up and further operation. Peer reviews are conducted at operating nuclear power plants once every four years, including at the start-up stage.

WANO's pre-start-up peer review team at Leningrad II (Image: Rosatom)

Announcing the successful completion of the review, Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom said today that, during the inspection, the team of international experts checked the operational, fire and emergency readiness of the unit, as well as the level of safety culture among the plant's personnel.

Hossein Ghaffari, head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran's office in Russia, said: "This is a pre-launch check, and our task has been to help the personnel of the Leningrad NPP to better prepare for this important event. As an industry advisor, I took part in a tour of the unit's control room and turbine hall, and before that my colleagues checked the equipment and facilities that are of prime importance for the start-up of the power unit.

"The results of these checks confirm that the unit is ready to begin full-scale commissioning operations. The quality of the documentation and the level of personnel training here is rather high, and the Leningrad NPP project confirms that the increased safety requirements that are now imposed on the power units under construction have been fully implemented here."

Physical start-up began at the VVER-1200 on 19 July when the first fuel assembly with fresh nuclear fuel was loaded into the reactor vessel. At the subsequent stages, during the power start-up, pilot operation and comprehensive testing of the power unit, all systems will undergo final checks. The unit is scheduled to be put into commercial operation in 2021.

Rosatom said the new unit will replace its "older brother" as the second power unit of the Leningrad plant - an RBMK-1000 reactor was put into operation 45 years ago.

The existing Leningrad plant site in Sosnovy Bor has four RBMK-1000 units, while Leningrad II will have four VVER-1200 units. Leningrad unit 1 was shut down for decommissioning on 21 December 2018. Leningrad II unit 1 was connected to the grid on 9 March 2018, becoming the second VVER-1200 reactor to start up, following the launch in 2016 of Novovoronezh unit 6.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News