Russia permanently closes down Kursk 1

21 December 2021

Russia's Kursk 1 RMBK reactor has been permanently shut down (Photo: Rosenergoatom)After 45 years of operation, unit 1 at Russia’s Kursk nuclear power plant was permanently shut down on 19 December.

The RBMK-1000 power unit was shut down to operate in a mode without generation and the relevant licence was issued by the Federal Service for Environmental, Technological and Nuclear Supervision of Russia (Rostekhnadzor). The unit was disconnected from the Unified Energy System of Russia without comment.

“During its operation since 19 December 1976, the unit has generated more than 251TWh of electricity,” said the Kursk NPP Acting Director Alexander Uvakin. “This is enough to ensure the energy consumption of the Kursk region for 30 years, given the current consumption. The unit has worked reliably and safely."

The general director of nuclear utility Rosenergoatom, Andrei Petrov, noted: “A new story begins for the Kursk station. Now the construction of a capacity replacement station for the decommissioned RBMK-1000 power units of the Kursk NPP is in full swing. New units are being constructed according to the most modern NPP project of domestic design, created by Russian designers based on  VVER-1200 technical solutions. The power units under construction with the VVER-TOI reactors will have increased power and improved technical and economic indicators."

Kursk-II is a replacement station for the current Kursk nuclear plant. Commissioning of the first two units with the new design VVER-TOI reactors was intended to be synchronised with the decommissioning of the RBMK reactors at Kursk 1&2 of the operating plant. However no date has been given for the commissioning of Kursk-II unit 1.

Kursk II is the first project to use the VVER-TOI and will have four new power units with a capacity of 1300MW each. AEM-Technology (a subsidiary of AtomEnergoMash, Rosatom’s mechanical engineering division), the only Russian manufacturer capable of making a complete nuclear steam generator, is also the manufacturer for the VVER-TOI. 

The company started manufacturing the first VVER-TOI in 2018. The reactor vessel and steam generators for Kursk II-1 were manufactured in 2020 and shipped in April 2021. The manufacturing of equipment for the Kursk II-2 is currently under way. The complete steam generator set for unit 2 will be shipped in the first half of 2022.

Photo: Russia's Kursk 1 RMBK reactor has been permanently shut down (Photo: Rosenergoatom)

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