Russia retires Leningrad 2 RBMK

10 November 2020

The Leningrad 2 nuclear power unit in in Sosnovy BorĀ in Western Russia was shut down permanently today. The RBMK, which has been in operation for 45 years, is to be replaced by Leningrad II-2, a VVER-1200, which on 6 November received regulatory approval to start pilot operation.

Leningrad 2 personnel on day of its closure (Image: Rosatom)

Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom said Leningrad 2 was shut down for subsequent decommissioning at 12:31am Moscow time. The reactor was shut down in accordance with the technological regulations and disconnected from the unified power system of Russia without incident, Rosatom said.

In accordance with federal regulations, a shutdown power unit is considered to be in operation without generation until the moment of complete removal of nuclear fuel, which is completed within four years, Rosatom said.

"As in the case of power unit 1, which was shut down in December 2018, regular operations will be carried out with the second unit. In fact, the procedures performed practically do not differ from ordinary maintenance," Vladimir Pereguda, director of Leningrad NPP said. "Now our task is also to service reliably and safely the shutdown units, unload nuclear fuel from the reactors and prepare them for transfer to the specially created enterprise Experimental Demonstration Engineering Centre."

Noting the start-up of Leningrad II-2, Andrey Petrov, the general director of Rosatom's operator subsidiary Rosenergoatom, said: "The replacement of the retired capacities will be imperceptible to electricity consumers."

Compared to RBMK power units, the new VVER-1200 power units that are being commissioned have a number of advantages, Rosatom said. They are 20% more powerful, and the service life of their irreplaceable equipment is doubled, to up to 60 years.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News