Life extension for Russia’s Balakovo 3

18 January 2019

Balakovo nuclear plant










Russia’s Federal Service for Environmental, Technological and Nuclear Supervision (Rostekhnadzor) on 16 January issued a licence to extend the service life of Balakovo 3, a VVER-1000, until 2048.

The project was implemented by the Moscow Design Institute of Atomenergoproekt (part of the Engineering Division of state nuclear corporation Rosatom). Work began in 2013 with an in-depth safety assessment of the technical status of all the relevant systems.

Ruben Topchiyan, first vice-president and director of the joint design institute of JSC IC ASE, part of the ASE Group, explained that life extension projects were vital to ensuring a stable power supply. “Because so little construction of new capacity took place in the 1990s  there was a risk of power shortages. Therefore, it was decided to extend the life of existing power units. So far, modernisation of Novovoronezh 4, and  Balakovo 2 has been successfully completed. And now Balakovo 3 will also provide power supply to the Volga region until 2048."

Balakov nuclear plant has four power units with modernised VVER-1000 reactors (modification ?-320). The first unit was commissioned in 1985, the second in 1987, the third in 1988 and the fourth in 1993. The Balakovo plant provides a quarter of the electricity production in the Volga Federal District. In October 2017 Rostekhnadzor issued a licence for the extended operation of Balakovo 2 by 26 years until 2043.  Balakovo 1 is licensed to operate until 2045.  

Photo: Russia's Balakovo nuclear plant compries four VVER-100 reactors (Credit: Rosenergoatom)

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