Preparations are underway in Russia to build new nuclear power units in the Leningrad and Smolensk regions after a decision was signed by Alexey Likhachev, director general of state-owned Rosatom.

“The Russian nuclear power industry has approached this stage with newly developed types of NPPs – the VVER-1200 and VVER-TOI," Likhachev said.

"These projects are being successfully implemented in Russia, and VVER-1200 is also implemented abroad. They were designed according to the latest achievements and developments that meet all current international safety requirements."

The two power stations are included in Russia’s General scheme of electricity facility placement until 2035, which has been approved by the Russian Government.

Nuclear utility Rosenergoatom will be both the developer and technical coordinator of the investment projects.

The first stage of Leningrad NPP-2 construction serves as a reference project for the new units of the Leningrad NPP.

The VVER-TOI project similar to the one that is under construction at Kursk NPP-2 will be implemented in Smolensk.

“The new power units will replace the units with RBMK-1000 reactors, whose service life will end in the next decade," said Andrei Petrov, director general of JSC Rosenergoatom.

Preliminary estimates indicate construction will create up to 15,000 new jobs, provide regular tax revenues to regional and local budgets, Petrov added.

By the end of 2020, a preliminary work implementation project will be carried out at the construction site units 3 and 4 with VVER-1200 reactors of the Leningrad NPP-2. Temporary household construction camps and an industrial base are planned to be built. Over the 2020-2022 period, public hearings will be held regarding license justification and an assessment of the environmental impact of the two new VVER-1200 reactors. Construction project evaluation has to be carried out until 2022.

Two new VVER-TOI reactors planned for Smolensk NPP-2 will built 6km away from the existing RBMK station at Smolensk. An action plan is expected to be prepared and approved by the end of 2020, and project financing process is expected to begin.