Unit 2 of Russia’s Novovoronezh II NPP started the process of physical launch on 11 April following approval from regulator Rostechnadzor. The VVER-1200 reactor was brought to the minimum controlled power level on 22 March.
Plant Director Vladimir Povarov said the permit meant preparation for the physical start-up phase had been fully completed. "The actual values of the neutron-physical characteristics of the reactor core correspond to those of the design and so we can now proceed to the next stage, energy start-up," he noted. The reactor's power will be increased from 1% to 35-40% in several stages. Nuclear utility Rosenergoatom (part of state nuclear corporation Rosatom) said that this would enable connection of the turbogenerator to the network and the start of electricity generation, which is scheduled for May. The power level will then be slowly increased to 100%, with commissioning scheduled before the end of the year. Novovoronezh II-2 will be the third VVER-1200 to be commissioned, following Novovoronezh II-1 launched in 2016 and Leningrad II-1 launched in 2017.