Unit 2 of Russia’s Novovoronezh II (also known as Novovoronezh 7) began pilot operation and testing at 100% of capacity on 31 July, according to AtomStroyExport, the engineering division of state nuclear power corporation Rosatom.
The Generation III+ VVER-1200 reactor gradually increased power output to 100% over two months during which equipment tests were carried out at 40%, 50%, 75%, 90% of rated power.
To achieve 100% capacity a hundred different tests and measurements will be carried out over several months, culminating in 15 days of testing before the unit can be approved for commercial operation, explained Vladimir Kazansky, deputy chief engineer for the construction of new units at Novovoronezh II.
Pilot operation comprises four sub-stages: operation at 50% capacity; operation at 75% capacity; operation at nominal power and commissioning trials; and approval for operation. Nuclear regulator Rostechnadzor will then check the unit against its design parameters.
Construction of Novovoronezh II-2 began in 2009, it was brought to minimum controlled power in March and was connected to the grid in May.
Novovoronezh NPP was the first nuclear plant in Russia to host VVER-type reactors (light water-cooled pressurised reactors). The three operating reactors at the station are leading VVER prototypes. The first power unit at the site was commissioned in 1964, the second in 1969, the third in 1971, the fourth in 1972, the fifth in 1980. Units 1&2 were shut down in 1984 and 1990 and unit 3 in 2016. Unit 1 of the Novovoronezh II (a VVER-1200, also known as Novovoronezh 6) began commercial operation in February 2017. Russia’s other operating VVER-1200 unit is unit 1 of the Leningrad II NPP, which began commercial operation in October 2018.
Photo: Novovoronezh II-2 (Credit: Rosenergoatom)