Russia’s NITI to decommission specialist nuclear test stand

12 August 2021

Russia’s AP Aleksandrov Scientific Research Technological Institute (NITI) will decommission the nuclear reactor used for testing at its site in Sosnovy Bor, Leningrad Region by December 2024. The total cost of work on decontamination, dismantling and removal of the reactor from the city will amount to RUB916 million ($12.4m), according to the government procurement portal on 11 August.

According to the results of the competition held by the Rosatom, NITI the only participant and winner of the auction and will undertake decommissioning of the reactor alone. Specialists will have to dismantle and dispose of radioactive pipelines and systems associated with the reactor, decontaminate the equipment of the reactor itself and prepare its main structures for transportation. After that, the contractor will have to deliver the disassembled power plant of the KV-2 stand to the Sayda long-term storage facility for radioactive waste in the Murmansk region and prepare the reactor for removal from state supervision.

NITI is the only scientific and technological centre in Russia for complex tests of ship nuclear power plants and uses a number of prototype stands to bring them to the required level of reliability and safety. NITI was established in 1962 as a State Test Station by order of the State Committee for the Use of Atomic Energy. The enterprise operates several nuclear facilities used to test reactors of submarines, icebreakers and other ships. In 2019, the KM-1 stand with the OK-650 reactor, which had been operating since 1975, was decommissioned.

The KV-2 test bench with its nuclear facility was launched in 1996. As noted on the official website of the institute, the studies carried out on the KV-2 made it possible to lay a solid foundation for the use of nuclear power plants of this type for nuclear propulsion. The technical solutions worked out at the KV-2 stand were used for the RITM-200 reactor plant, developed for a new generation universal nuclear icebreaker, as well as for other types of transport power plants.

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