Russia on 1 March closed down unit 3 at its Kola nuclear plant, marking the start of a 50-day outage as part of a major refurbishment and modernisation programme at all four units.
Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom said the programme will allow for serious improvements of operational safety at the station. The refurbishment programme is scheduled to take 249 days and will include lie extension work on units 1 and 2.
All four units at Kola are Soviet-designed 411MWe VVER pressurised water reactors. Kola 1&2 began commercial operation in the mid-1970s and Kola 3&4 in the mid-1980s. In November 2016, Russia said the operational life of the four reactors will be extended to 60 years, meaning they will remain in commercial operation until the mid-2030s and mid-2040s.
Kola is located 200km south of Murmansk on the shore of Lake Imandraand supplies some 60% of the electricity for the Murmansk region.