The first of 163 fuel cassettes was loaded at Rostov 1 on 21 January. Russia’s national grid company UES has said that it doubts that unit will reach full capacity by its deadline. The reactor is expected to reach 30-40% of its rated 1000MWe capacity in March and full capacity by the third quarter of the year.
On 19 January the state nuclear inspectorate, Gostomnadzor, issued the plant an operating licence. Regulators will decide in October whether the unit can proceed to commercial operation.
Construction of Rostov began 20 years ago but the plant was mothballed for 10 years. Last year, the reactor underwent rigorous testing of its hydraulic systems and containment shell and after a test run submitted to close inspections of its reactor and turbine equipment.
Rostov 1 is the first to be commissioned in Russia since Balakovo 4 in 1993.