Bilibino nuclear plant (Credit: Rosenergoatom)Russia’s Rostekhnadzor on 27 December issued a licence to the Bilibino nuclear power plant for the extended operation of unit 2 until 31 December 2025.

This followed many months of work of the entire staff of the nuclear power plant to prepare for the additional service life with an emphasis on maintaining a high level of safety.

Bilibino 2 began operation in December 1974 and in 2004, its life was extended for 15 years. Currently, work is also underway to extend the life of Bilibino 3&4.

Bilibino 1 was closed in December 2018 in preparation for decommissioning.

Currently Bilibino NPP produces 80% of the electricity generated in the isolated Chaun-Bilibino power system, and provides heat for the city of Bilibino. However, eventually Bilibino NPP will be replaced by the floating NPP Akademik Lomonosov which was connected to the grid on 19 December.

Bilibino will be decommissioned in stages and the new energy supply scheme of Chukotka should fully operational by 2023. Bilibino NPP comprised four unique 12MWe uranium-graphite pressure-tube EGP-6 reactors commissioned between 1974 and 1976. The decision to close them was approved in March 2016.

Photo Bilibino nuclear plant (Credit: Rosenergoatom)