Russia’s Leningrad NPP (LNPP) plans to obtain a licence for the construction of units 7&8 with VVER-1200 reactors by the end of 2022, the plant reported. "By the end of 2022, we must obtain a licence for the construction of new units. Design and survey work is underway to prepare an environmental impact assessment and licence justification materials. According to the plan, public hearings are scheduled for the end of June, the department said. Specific dates for the start of construction work will be determined after public hearings.
In recent years, LNPP has been replacing channel uranium-graphite RBMK-1000 units with generation 3+VVER-1200 pressurised water reactors. Leningrad 1 was shut down after 45 years of operation and all its systems are being prepared for decommissioning. In November 2020, also after 45 years of operation, unit 2 was also shut down for subsequent decommissioning. Units7&8 will replace the still operating RBMKs at units 3&4. Earlier, Director of LNPP Vladimir Pereguda said that it was planned to launch unit 7 in 2030.
Earlier in April it was announced that the boundaries of Novovoronezh will be expanded to enable construction of the fifth stage of the NPP. In the Voronezh region, “large-scale work” has begun to change the boundaries of municipalities associated with the prospective placement of new units at the plant, according to the press service of the regional government. The construction of two new units is reportedly scheduled for the mid-2030s-2040s. The department noted that the facilities are included in Rosatom's long-term development strategy until 2050.
The construction of new units in the mid-2030s, was previously mentioned by the NPP director Vladimir Povarov to Kommersant-Chernozemye. “We were faced with the task of getting into the programme for the strategic development of Russia's nuclear energy. Now we appear in it for the construction of the fifth stage - power units 8 and 9. The preliminary deadlines are 2036-2038. That is, the prospect of construction is possible, and will depend on the needs of the Unified Energy System of Russia,” Povarov explained. The expansion plans were also noted by Rosatom Director General Alexei Likhachev who said in 2021 that two more units would be built at the NPP site.
Novovoronezh NPP has traditionally been the site to host new design VVER-type reactors (light water-cooled pressurised reactors). The first unit at the site was commissioned in 1964 (VVER-210), the second in 1969 (VVER 365), the third in 1971 (VVER-440), the fourth in 1972 (VVER-440), and the fifth in 1980 (VVER-1000). Units 1&2 were shut down in 1984 and 1990 and unit 3 in 2016. Unit four was shut down for modernisation work and has since resumed operation, while unit 5 recently underwent an upgrade and is licensed to operate until 2035. Unit 1 of the Novovoronezh II (a VVER-1200, also known as Novovoronezh 6) began commercial operation in February 2017 and unit 2 (Novovoronezh 7) in November 2019. It is not known what VVER design units 8&9 will be.
According to the IAEA, Russia currently has four reactors under construction, including the first-of-its-kind VVER-TOI design at Kursk.