Novovoronezh 3 has been shut down in preparation for the start of work to extend its design life by up to 15 years. The existing operational period of the VVER-440 reactor ends next year, but the unit has been halted now in preparation for six months of work during which 21 technical projects will be carried out to improve safety systems.

The work is the start of plans that will extend the operating lifetimes of 12 first-generation reactors, including units 3 and 4 at Novovoronezh. The cost of modernising Novovoronezh 3 is estimated at about R600 million ($21 million).