Leningrad II construction site pictured in June 2019 (Credit Rosenergoatom)Work to finish the nuclear island at unit 2 of Russia’s Leningrad II nuclear power plant has begun, the plant said.

The nuclear island is a complex of buildings in which the main equipment of the VVER-1200 reactor, including safety systems and control units, are located.

Currently, contractors are cladding the building structures with sandwich panels. “For the reactor building alone, we need more than 6000 square metres of wall panels. As to the total surface area of ​​the nuclear island, that will be almost 25,000 square metres, said the deputy chief engineer of the capital construction department at Leningrad II, Kirill Mazurin. “We plan to complete these works before the end of April.”

The physical launch of Leningrad II-2 is scheduled for the second quarter of 2020. This will be followed by a power start, pilot operation and integrated testing. The VVER-1200 reactor is expected to begin commercial operation at the beginning of 2021.

The plant also reported on 30 March that a sprinkler system had been tested at unit 2. During the test, some 600 cubic metres of chemically demineralised water was sprinkled into the pressurised reactor building.  Experts checked the system's performance under conditions simulating the maximum hypothetical beyond design basis accident.  

“Testing the sprinkler system has confirmed its performance and reliability… Radiation will not escape from the reactor building,” said Alexander Belyaev, chief engineer of the Leningrad II.

The sprinkler system is a distinctive feature of Russia’s generation 3+ VVER-1200 reactor design.  It consists of four rows of pipelines located under the dome of the reactor building. During normal operation, the system will be in standby mode. In the case of an accident, the system will start up automatically.

Photo: Leningrad II construction site pictured in June 2019 (Credit Rosenergoatom)