Russia plans deployment of small reactors

13 September 2007

The deputy head of Russia's AtomEnergoProm has outlined the new giant's plans for building and funding new nuclear power plants.

Petr Schedrovitsky made his comments at the World Nuclear Association's Annual Symposium. He explained that a Federal Task Program would see funding made available for seventeen 1200 MWe reactorsto come on line between 2013 and 2020 at a wide range of sites.

Construction has already started on Novovoronezh Phase-II units 1 and 2. Next would be two units at Leningrad Phase-II units 1 and 2, where site preparation is underway. Following those would come Volgodonsk 3 and 4.

New nuclear power plant sites would be started at Tverskaya, 400 km northwest of Moscow; Severskaya near Tomsk; Nizhegorod, 325 km to the east of Moscow; and South Urals.

These will be AES-2006-design VVER pressurized water reactors, which output 1200 MWe and are developed from today's proven V-320units.  

Still more new reactors are proposed, but as yet unfunded, at the above sites and also at andTsentralnaya near Vladivostok in Russia's far east.

Small reactors

A significant part of AtomEnergoProm's plan is to deploy six of the new VK-300boiling water reactors (BWRs). These are slated to operate around 2017-10 at Kola Phase-II in the Arctic west and Primoskaya in the far east. These were given in the as-yet-unfundedcategory.

Supplying around 300 MWe, the units will be unique. They would be the smallest light-water reactors available in the next decade, positioned between South Africa's and China's high-temperature gas-cooled reactors of 165 MWe and 200 MWe respectively and mainstream light-water reactors in the range 700-1650 MWe.

The small BWRs should be of interest to countries and regions with smaller electricity supply requirements and grids of around 2000-3000 MWe

Areva and Mitsubishi have also identified a need for intermediate-sized unitsand have formed the Atmea joint venture to design and build 1000-1100 MWepressurized water reactors for markets in developing countries. Bothcompanies are marketing new-generation nuclearunits of 1600-1700 MWe.

From 2016 older Russian nuclear power rectors will start to be retired. Thesmaller Novovronezh 3 and 4 would close in 2016-17 and Kola 1 and 2 in 2018-19, butalso the large Leningrad 1 and 2 units in 2018 and 2020.

Further information

WNA's Nuclear Power in Russia information paper

WNN: Mitsubishi and Areva create Atmea joint venture