Second Novovoronezh II unit enters commercial operation

01 November 2019

Unit 2 of the Novovoronezh II nuclear power plant in southwest Russia has entered commercial operation, 30 days ahead of schedule, state nuclear corporation Rosatom announced today. Commissioning of the VVER-1200 brings the number of power reactors in commercial operation in Russia to 36.

Workers in the operating room of Novovoronezh II unit 2 (Image: Rosatom)

The reactor was brought to the minimum controlled power level on 22 March, was first connected to the grid on 1 May and started pilot operation in June. Acceptance tests were successfully completed on 16 September. Rosatom noted that the unit has already produced 2.5 terawatt-hours of electricity since being grid connected.

Novovoronezh II-2 is the third VVER-1200 to be commissioned, following Novovoronezh II-1 and Leningrad II-1, which were launched in 2016 and 2017, respectively. The loading of fuel into the Leningrad II-2 VVER-1200 is scheduled to begin in March next year.

"Hundreds of nuclear specialists contributed to the implementation of this project," said Alexander Lokshin, first deputy director general for Operational Management at Rosatom. "A new powerful generation source was added to the Russian energy system. We can now use this dual-unit nuclear power plant design as a reference for our foreign projects.

"We have accumulated vast experience in construction, production organisation, procurement, supply and finance, as well as our continuously increasing effectiveness. This is crucial to meeting modern market requirements and facing the large-scale challenges when constructing nuclear power plants."

Rosatom has VVER-1200 construction projects in Bangladesh, Belarus, China, Finland and Hungary. The company said its foreign orders portfolio currently comprises 36 VVER unit projects at different implementation stages across 12 markets.

The five units at the existing Novovoronezh nuclear power plant were commissioned between 1964 and 1980. The first and second units were permanently decommissioned in 1988 and 1990. Unit 3 was decommissioned in 2016, while unit four was shut down for modernisation works and has since resumed operation. Unit 5 has recently undergone an upgrade and is licensed to operate until 2035.

The commissioning of Novovoronezh II-2 increases the total capacity of the Novovoronezh plant by one-and-a-half times, giving a powerful impetus to the development of the economy of the Voronezh region, Rosatom said.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News