Kalinin 4 reaches first criticality

09 November 2011

Russia's newest nuclear power reactor - unit 4 at the Kalinin plant - is now operating at the lowest controllable power level, plant owner Rosenergoatom has announced. The achievement of the VVER-1000 reactor's first criticality took place on 8 November, two weeks after the last of the unit's 163 fuel assemblies was loaded. Construction work on Kalinin 4 restarted in 2007 after a 16-year hiatus, using heavy components originally earmarked for the stalled Belene project in Bulgaria. The unit, built by Nizhny Novgorod-based Atomenergoproekt, is set to become Russia's 33rd operational nuclear power unit when it enters commercial service.