Russian regulator approves start-up of Rostov 4

24 January 2018

Rostechnadzor, the Russian regulator, has issued a permit required for start-up operations at unit 4 of the Rostov nuclear power plant, state nuclear corporation Rosatom said yesterday. The unit is currently undergoing tests and a gradual increase in generating capacity, Rosatom said, adding that, based on the test results, a decision would be taken on the date the unit will be connected to the grid.

Rostov unit 4 - 460 (Rosatom)
Rostov 4 pictured during construction (Image: Rosatom)

"Obtaining this permission from Rostechnadzor at the beginning of the start-up stage means a gradual increase in the capacity of the reactor of the power unit can be made," Andrey Gorbunov, chief engineer at Rostov NPP, said in the statement. "Achieving a capacity of 35% signifies one of the most important and responsible stages in the start-up phase - the push of the turbo-generator," he added.

The start-up procedure comprises a whole series of inspections and tests at the various stages, as well as the testing of various pieces of equipment, Rosatom said. This is necessary to confirm the reliability and safety of the power unit during operation, it added. Following the "thrust of the turbine", electrical tests will be carried out and, only after successful completion of all the necessary tasks, will the unit be included in the network, it said.

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.

The Rostov plant is located on the banks of the Tsimlyansk reservoir, nearly 14 km (8 miles) from the city of Volgodonsk. Four 1000 MWe VVER pressurized 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 March 2001 and October 2010, respectively. Unit 3 was connected to the grid in December 2014.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News