Fuel loading starts at Leningrad II-2

20 July 2020

The first of 163 nuclear fuel assemblies has been loaded into unit 2 of the Leningrad II nuclear power plant, marking the start of the physical start-up of the VVER-1200, Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom announced yesterday. After fuel is loaded, the reactor will be brought to minimum controllable power level (up to 1%), to ensure safety of all relevant processes. The physical launch will be followed by power start-up, trial operation and integrated testing.

Leningrad II units 1 and 2 (Image: Rosatom)

The unit will replace the RBMK-1000 reactor-equipped power unit 2 of Leningrad I, which will be shut down at the end of this year after 45 years of service. When it is commissioned next year, the new unit will become the fourth VVER-1200 in operation.

Andrei Petrov, director general of plant operator Rosenergoatom, said: "Beginning physical start-up procedures means that all the works associated with building the unit are complete. Today this important equipment of the unit receives the status of a ‘nuclear energy installation’, and nuclear specialists take on the responsibility for its safe operations for many years ahead."

The existing Leningrad plant site in Sosnovy Bor has four RBMK-1000 units, while Leningrad II will have four VVER-1200 units. Leningrad unit 1 was shut down for decommissioning on 21 December last year. Leningrad II unit 1 was connected to the grid on 9 March 2018, becoming the second VVER-1200 reactor to start up, following the launch in 2016 of Novovoronezh unit 6.

Bangladesh, Belarus, China, Finland, Hungary and Turkey also have VVER-1200 units under construction.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News