Russia’s Kola NPP said on 18 June that the time frame for the construction of new units at the Kola-II NPP had been determined, with work expected to start in 2028, and the commissioning of the first unit scheduled for 2034. It is assumed that the Kola-II will be a two-unit facility with two innovative 600MWe VVER-type power units each with spectral regulation and high safety indicators.
“The service life of the current power units at the Kola NPP ends in 2033 and 2034, and today we are faced with the question of the need to replace the retired capacities,” Kola NPP Vasily Omelchuk told an online press conference. “The decision to build the Kola-II NPP was made at the end of the last century, but was not implemented. However, a construction site was selected and preliminary surveys were carried out.”
Kola NPP, with four VVER-440 reactors, was the first nuclear power plant to be built in the harsh climatic conditions of the Arctic. Today it transmits electricity through five power transmission lines, providing reliable power supply to the northern part of the Republic of Karelia, where most of the region's large industrial enterprises are located, as well as more than 50% of consumers on the Kola Peninsula.
Meanwhile, it was announced that the Kola NPP will start producing hydrogen in 2023 after being selected as a pilot site for the creation of a bench test complex for the production and handling of hydrogen.
The Kola NPP was chosen for several reasons, the main ones being a surplus of generated energy, its low cost, as well as the availability of all the necessary infrastructure and experience in the production of hydrogen in small quantities for the plant's own needs.
“We have to create a system for handling hydrogen on an industrial scale - receiving, compressing or liquefying and transporting,” said Omelchuk. “In 2023, we must put into operation a complex with electrolysis plants with a capacity of 1MW, then it is planned to increase the capacity and productivity to 10 MW. If the technology works, then it will be reproduced throughout the Russian Federation.”