Russia’s Kola NPP may extend operation of units 1&2 until 2038

3 January 2024

The Director of Russia’s Kola NPP Vasily Omelchuk told a press conference that Kola NPP in the Murmansk region is considering the possibility of extending operation of units 1&2 until 2038 although they had been expected to close in 2033-2034. "The first and second units of the Kola NPP will operate until 2033-2034, but there is an order from the government to consider the possibility of extending their operating life,” he said. “According to our estimates, it is likely that this can be done for a short time, of course, without compromising security. We have set ourselves the task of considering the extension and justification of the first unit until 2038. But we’re not yet able to say whether it is possible.

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. Unit 1 began operation in 1973 and unit 2 in 1974. Units 3&4 began operation in 1981 and 1984.

Omelchuk noted that the decommissioning of the two units can be synchronized with the launch of the new Kola-II station, which is scheduled to begin work by 2035. Kola-II will be the world's first NPP with a spectrally regulated reactor. Kola-II will be constructed a few kilometres from the existing plant near the town of Polyarnye Zori. It will host two VVER-600 reactors with spectral regulation. The reactors will be able to reuse nuclear fuel and, working in conjunction with fast neutron reactors, will make it possible to close the nuclear fuel cycle.

Image: The Kola nuclear power plant in the Murmansk

Privacy Policy
We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.