Russia has today connected unit 1 of the Leningrad Phase II nuclear power plant to the grid and it has started producing its first power, state nuclear corporation Rosatom has announced. The VVER 1200 reactor was brought to the minimum controllable power level on 6 February.
"The new, super-powerful Leningrad power unit has begun to produce its first electric power and moved from the category of under construction to the category of operation," Alexey Likhachov, Rosatom director general, said. "I congratulate the staff of the Leningrad nuclear power plant, as well as the designers, builders, installers and commissioners on the birth of a new nuclear giant!" he added.
The existing Leningrad plant site has four operating RMBK-1000 units, while Leningrad II will have four VVER-1200 units. The new unit will be the second to come online in Russia this year - Rostov 4, a VVER 1000 which is near the city of Volgodonsk, was connected to the grid on 1 February.
Alexander Belyaev, chief engineer of Leningrad NPP II, said the thermal capacity of the new Leningrad unit was raised to 35% of its nominal value, and then its high-speed turbine was successfully put into rotation at 3000 revolutions per minute. It was then integrated into the national grid at a minimum level of electric power of 240 MW and continued in this mode for 4 hours. During this time, it will have generated about 1 megawatt hours of electricity, he said.
Vladimir Pereguda, director of Leningrad NPP, added that the technological systems of the unit had successfully completed reliability and safety tests. "Having released the first kilowatts into the network, we have completed the power start-up stage and are ready to proceed to the next stage, which is pilot operation," he said.
Leningrad II-1 is the second VVER-1200 reactor, following the launch in 2016 of Novovoronezh 6.
Start-up operations of the new Leningrad unit began on 8 December last year, when the first fuel assemblies were loaded into the reactor core.