Load following trialled at Leningrad II

09 November 2021

Russia has put its first VVER-1200 unit, Leningrad II-1, through a series of load following trials. The mandatory trials help confirm performance of the power plant. The plant's owner and operator, Rosenergoatom, cycled the output of the 1101 MWe pressurised water reactor from 100% to 75% and back again five times. Next came five cycles between 100% and 50% power.

The two new reactors at Leningrad II (Image: Rosenergoatom)

The whole process was conducted over ten days, the company said, noting it was a scheduled test mandated by the regulator, Rostekhnadzor.

Leningrad-II 1 started operation in October 2018 and is the first of many VVER-1200 units planned for Russia. The reactor model is currently the country's main export product.

Rosenergoatom said the results of the trials will help it to check the efficiency of the VVER-1200's power management, determine the speed of power change and determine the best operating procedures.

"Demand for electricity fluctuates throughout the day: in the middle of the day and at night it decreases, and in the morning and evening it increases," said Alexander Belyaev, chief engineer of Leningrad II. "Manoeuvring allows you to change the power of the unit depending on consumption and system restrictions, ensuring stable operation of the entire power system."

Leningrad-II consists of two VVER-1200s which are both capable of load following. The older Leningrad plant adjacent to it has two RBMK units which only operate in baseload mode, which means running at full power the entire time between refuelling and maintenance outages. Between them, the two nuclear power plants provide 30% of electricity to Russia's industrialised north west and 56% to its second biggest city, Saint Petersburg.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News