Russia's Rostov 4 enters pilot operation

20 February 2018

Russian regulator Rostechnadzor has issued a licence for the final stage of the start-up procedure - pilot operation - at unit 4 of the Rostov nuclear power plant, which is near the city of Volgodonsk.

Rostov 4 - 460 (Rosatom)
Rostov 4, near the city of Volgodonsk (Image: Rosatom)

Announcing the final regulatory approval today, state nuclear corporation Rosatom said the unit will contribute RUB 1 billion ($18 million) a year to the federal budget, and in its first year of commercial operation about RUB 1.7 billion in property tax.

Russian President Vladimir Putin participated in the grid connection of the country's latest reactor on 1 February. The same day, the unit was brought to 300 MWe, or 40%, of its capacity for four hours before being stopped for equipment tests and to confirm the design characteristics of safe operation.

Svyatoslav Chukavin, deputy chief engineer for the unit's pilot operation, said in today's Rosatom statement that power capacity would now gradually be increased to 100%, with further tests conducted at each stage.

Preparations for the physical start-up of unit 4 began on 6 December, with the loading of nuclear fuel into the reactor. Within five days, all 163 fuel assemblies were installed and on 29 December the unit was put at the minimum controlled power level. Rosatom announced on 23 January that Rostechnadzor had issued a permit required for start-up operations at the unit.

Four 1000 MWe VVER pressurised water reactors have been planned at the Rostov site since the early 1980s. Construction of units 1 and 2 began promptly, but progress faltered. Units 1 and 2 eventually entered commercial operation in 2001 and 2010, respectively. Unit 3 was connected to the grid in 2015.

Rosatom has not given a date for the start of commercial operation at Rostov 4, but it is expected before that of unit 1 of the Leningrad II nuclear power plant, which is in Sosnovy Bor. The corporation said last week that Leningrad II-1, which is a VVER-1200 unit, had successfully completed tests required at the minimum controlled power level in preparation for start-up this spring.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News