Licence extension for Leningrad 4

04 January 2011

The operating licence of unit 4 of the Leningrad nuclear power plant has been extended for a further 15 years until December 2025, plant owner Rosenergoatom announced. Russian regulator Rostechnadzor issued the extended licence on 26 December having concluded that the RBMK-1000 reactor, which began commercial operation in 1981, meets current safety requirements. All four RBMK units at Leningrad have undergone extensive safety upgrades over the past decade. Units 1 to 3 have already been issued 15-year extensions to their operating licences allowing them to operate until 2018, 2020 and 2024, respectively. The Leningrad reactors began life as the same RBMK design as was destroyed at Chernobyl in 1986. Significant design modifications were made to RBMKs in Russia and former Soviet states after that accident, including replacement of fuel channels in the reactor core itself and an overall de-rating. There are currently 11 operating RBMKs in the world, all of which are in Russia.