The 1000MW VVER-1000 Rostov (Volgodonsk) 2 in southern Russia embarked on physical start-up in late December 2009. The reactor has received its first fuel load of 163 assemblies, according to a report by Rosatom, and is expected to begin commercial start-up in January 2010.

Reactor construction began in 1983, but was halted in the late 1990s, according to Dmitry Baranov of investment firm Finam Management. Unit 2 resumed in 2002, with ‘extensive’ resources deployed since 2006.

The start-up follows the start-up of Rostov (Volgodonsk) 1 in March 2001, 23 years after construction began in 1978.

Rostov (Volgodonsk) units 3 and 4 were both ordered in 1983. Unit 3 construction began again in 2009 and commercial operation is forecast for 2013; commercial operation for unit 4 is scheduled for 2014. It is understood that 7,000 construction workers will move from construction of unit 2 to units 3 and 4.