Russia nuclear utility Rosenergoatom has decided that moving from the "deferred" to "immediate" dismantling approach for its reactors undergoing decommissioned would bring a 20% cost saving, Natalia Safronova, head of decommissioning at the company, told delegates at the International AtomEco-Forum in Moscow on 23 November.

Immediate dismantling enables the maximum use of the residual life of the equipment and structures of the shutdown units, reduces maintenance costs, makes use of existing radioactive waste management facilities, and employs the skills of personnel, she said. "Immediate dismantling" requires about 15 years compared with  "delayed dismantling", which takes  60-70 years. It, therefore, costs less and also avoids shifting the burden of decommissioning costs to future generations, she noted.

Rosenergoatom will prepare a feasibility study for this transition for Novovoronezh 1&2 by the end of this year, she said. In 2013, Rosenergoatom established the Experimental Demonstration Engineering Centre (ODIC) at the two units. ODIC is responsible for bringing their industrial sites to a brownfield state. The Centre operates a plasma furnace for processing solid radioactive waste and two decontamination facilities for metals. Thre are also separate specialised for dismantling and decontamination, radioactive waste management, etc. ODIC is to establish a single training centre for decommissioning to tackle two main tasks: re-qualification of operational personnel as personnel for decommissioning, and training specialists for decommissioning of other NPPs, including foreign plants. The centre will have training simulators. By 2020, two additional Russian power reactors will be closed for decommissioning –  Leningrad 1 and Bilibino 1.

Rosenergoatom, part of state nuclear corporation Rosatom,  is the largest generating company in Russia and the 2nd largest in the world in terms of the volume of nuclear-generating capacity. It includes all 10 Russian nuclear power plants (35 units) with a total installed capacity of 27.9GWe producing about 18.3% of total electricity.