Russia’s first new nuclear plant since the Soviet era has been officially opened. More than 20 years after its conception, Rostov 1 is currently operating at low capacity. The reactor had been almost complete when the government froze construction on all Russian nuclear plants in 1990 following protests over the Chernobyl accident. However, amid increasing power shortages across the country, the Atomic Energy Ministry allocated funds in 1999 for the completion of several nuclear projects, including Rostov. The VVER-1000 is due to reach full capacity in July or August and commercial start-up is planned for October.
The country now has 10 plants that are producing about 12% of its electricity. The last launching of a nuclear power unit took place in 1993, when Balakovo 4 was put into operation.