The second unit at Russia’s Rostov (Volgodonsk) nuclear power plant has started up. The unit was synchronized to the grid on 18 March after reaching 35% capacity.
Rostov 2 is the first nuclear power plant to be completed in Russia during the last five years. It is a 1200MWe, Russian VVER-1200 reactor. The construction and now start-up of Rostov 2 is seen as a major milestone in Russia as it signifies the return to “serial construction” of nuclear power plants in the country.
Commissioning of the unit began on 19 December 2009, when the first heat-emission assembly was installed and criticality was attained. By Christmas, all of its 163 fuel assemblies were loaded up. Operation began on 22 January 2010 when the unit reached minimum controlled power level (about 1%). From 20 February the capacity of the unit was gradually increased from 1 to 35%, a level at which the plant can produce steam to power the turbines and run in the normal mode of operation.
Going forward the power will be gradually increased. When it reaches a capacity level of 50%, around May, it will begin a pilot phase of commercial operation. After reaching its nominal capacity (100%) Rostov 2 will begin commercial operation. This is expected in October 2010.
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