Kola II construction to start in 2028

21 June 2021

Russia's Rosatom plans to start construction of new units for the Kola II nuclear power plant project in 2028, with commissioning of the first unit set for 2034. The dates were announced by the Kola plant's director, Vasily Omelchuk, at an online press conference on 18 June.

Kola NPP Director Vasily Omelchuk (Image: Rosatom)

The existing four Kola units are VVER-440 reactors; 1 and 2 are V-230 models and 3 and 4 are of the V-213 type. Units 1-4 have received licence extensions to 2033, 2029, 2027 and 2029, respectively. Rosatom says Kola II will consist of two VVER-600 units.

Noting the need to replace capacity when units are retired, Omelchuk said the decision to build Kola II had been made at the end of the 1990s, "but was not implemented". At the same time, a site for the new units was chosen and preliminary investigations were carried out.

The Kola nuclear power plant was the first to be built in the harsh climatic conditions of the Arctic, Rosatom noted. Today, it transmits electricity across five power lines, providing reliable energy supply to the northern part of the Republic of Karelia - where most of the region's major industrial enterprises are located - as well as to more than half of the consumers in the Kola Peninsula. Replacement of the retiring capacity will not only enable economic and social development in the region, Rosatom said, but will also open up opportunities for the implementation of new industrial projects, including through additional investments.

According to World Nuclear Association, Rosatom's operator subsidiary Rosenergoatom announced in January 2012 that the replacement Kola II plant - about 10 km south of the present plant in the Murmansk region and on the shores of Lake Imandra - would be brought forward and built with two VVER-TOI units to come on line in 2020. Then a two-unit VVER-1200 plant was included in the Regional Energy Planning Scheme in November 2013. But in September 2014 Rosenergoatom was considering medium-sized units, either VVER-600 or VBER-600 for Kola. In the government decree of August 2016 a single VVER-600 was specified, for completion by 2030.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News