On May 1, 2018, the power startup of the Novovoronezh NPP-2 (Novovoronezh city, the Voronezh Region, an affiliate of the Rosenergoatom Joint-Stock Company, a part of the Electric Power Division of the Rosatom State corporation) 2nd power block took place. The innovative 3+ generation VVER-1200 power block was synchronized with the grid and achieved the capacity of 240 megawatt.
Prior to that, the team has conducted a steam to turbine and did a test idle run. A lot of trials at different stages of low-power testing were held alongside the tests and verifications of different pieces of equipment – all of those aimed to confirm that the power block can be operated in a reliable and safe fashion.
The Novovoronezh NPP-2 2nd power block is the third one among the Russian power blocks of such kind. The first power block of that kind – the Novovoronezh NPP-2 1st power block – was launched in 2016, and since its operational launch, it has delivered 18.3 billion kilowatt-hours. The second one was launched at the Leningrad NPP-2 in 2017.
Alexander Lokshin, First Deputy CEO of Operational Management at the Rosatom State corporation, President at ASE EC JSC, noted: ‘Today, the 2nd power block of the Novovoronezh NPP-2 was connected to the energy system of our country for the first time and delivered its first kilowatt-hours. This is an important milestone that became possible thanks to prolonged and efficient work of a large team made of thousands of specialists and hundreds of organizations. There is still a lot of work to do before the operational launch of the power block, but we can already say that, all in all, the Novovoronezh NPP-2 project, the 3+ generation nuclear power plant, has been a success’.
Andrey Petrov, CEO of the Rosenergoatom Joint-Stock Company, First Vice-President of construction at ASE EC JSC, said: ‘The power startup of the Novovoronezh NPP-2 2nd power block was 12 days ahead of schedule. Following its connection to the grid, the pilot production program will start, which pre-supposes that the capacity will be gradually increased up to 100% of the designed parameters. The 2nd power block of the Novovoronezh NPP-2 is scheduled for operational launch in December 2019’.
The innovative 3+ generation power blocks boast higher technical and economic performance and cater for absolute operational safety. They take advantage of the latest innovations and development achievements. The main feature of a VVER-1200 reactor is a unique combination of active and passive safety systems that make an NPP as resilient against any external and internal impact as possible. What’s typical for the passive safety systems is that they can run even if the electric supply is off and if there is no operator. The VVER-1200 power blocks use the following facilities: a ‘melt trap’ – a device that localizes a core melt in a reactor; an afterheat removal passive system designed to facilitate long-term thermal discharge from the reactor core in case all electric power supply sources are down, etc. The 3+ generation power blocks also possess improved economic parameters. The capacity of the nuclear facility has been increased by 20%, the number of operational staff has been decreased by 30-40%, and the designed life span of the core equipment has doubled and is now 60 years, which can later be prolonged by another 20 years.
At the moment, the Novovoronezh NPP is the largest electric power producer in the Voronezh Region. It caters for around 90% of the region’s need in electric power and up to 90% of Novovoronezh city’s demand for heat, powering over 20 major companies and 2.3 dwellers of the Central Black Earth Region.
The operational launch of the Novovoronezh NPP-2 2nd power block will increase the total capacity of the Novovoronezh NPP by 50% and will spur the economic development of the Voronezh Region, increase its gross regional product and contribute over 1 billion rubles into the regional budget as the property tax for 2020.
The General Designer of the Novovoronezh NPP-2 2nd power block is JSC Atomenergoproyekt, the general contractor is ASE JSC, the engineering division of the Rosatom State Corporation.
Novovoronezh NPP is a branch of Rosenergoatom JSC (a part of the largest Division of Rosatom State Corporation – Electric Power Division). The Plant is situated on the River Don bank 42 km South of Voronezh. This is the first NPP of Russia with VVER type reactors (Water-Water Power Reactors of containment type with water under pressure). Three reactors of the Plant are the main ones – the prototypes of the serial power reactors. The first power unit was commissioned in 1964, the second one - in 1969, the third one – in 1971, the fourth one – in 1972, and the fifth one – in 1980.
The power units No 1 and No 2 were shut down in 1984 and 1990, respectively. The power unit No 3 was shut down in 2016 for the decommissioning events. The power unit No 4 was shut down for modernization works. The power unit No 1 of Novovoronezh NPP-2 was commissioned on 27 February, 2017. The power unit No 2 is in the stage of commissioning works.