Imminent construction of Baltic nuclear power plant

08 February 2012

Engineers are preparing to pour the concrete foundation of the Baltic nuclear power plant in Kaliningrad. Once underway, it will be the ninth power reactor under construction in Europe.

The twin VVER-1200 Baltic project is situated in Kaliningrad, an exclave of the Russian Federation that sits between the EU states of Poland and Lithuania. It is a stand-out project for Russia: the first to be opened to investment by European utilities; the first intended to export most of its output; and the first to use Western components such as an Alstom-Atomenergomash steam turbine.

The plant will be majority owned by RosEnergoAtom, with 49% available to private investment. Talks have so far been held with CEZ, EDF, Enel and Iberdrola and late last year Switzerland-based utility Alpiq agreed with Russian grid operator Inter RAO UES to explore possibilities for a transmission link of up to 800 MWe from Kaliningrad to Germany.

Baltic construction February 2012 (Titan) 460x120
Workers putting rebar in place for the pouring of first concrete (Titan)

Engineering contractor TitanStroyMontazh announced yesterday that it has begun work on the reinforced concrete foundation for the reactor building of unit 1. It said about 1500 tonnes of rebar would be installed and covered in 4500 cubic metres of concrete to form the foundation slab. The official start of construction will come when this concrete is poured - expected within weeks.

Elsewhere in the European continent, new-build plans are at advanced stages for two reactors in the Czech Republic; one in Lithuania; one in Bulgaria; two in Belarus and another two in Finland. Groundwork for the first of four planned reactors is underway in the UK.

The official change to under-construction status will make Baltic 1 the ninth new reactor under construction in Europe. Already being built are Finland's Olkiluoto 3; France's Flamanville 3; Slovakia's Mochovce 3 and 4; and Russia's Rostov 3 and 4 and Leningrad-II 1 and 2.

Commercial operation of the first Baltic reactor is slated for 2017, with the second following one year later. The cost of the two 1200 MWe reactors was put at $6.8 billion in 2009.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News