The RBMK-1000 reactor at unit 2 of the Kursk NPP will be permanently shut down in 2024, plant director Alexander Uvakin has announced. “Last year, as planned, unit 1 was closed and ceased power generation. Work is now underway to prepare for decommissioning. We have the necessary resources, trained personnel, and documents. At the beginning of 2024 we will stop unit 2 which has reached the end of its design life and an extension of operation would be inexpedient," Uvakin said.

He noted that the technical condition of the third and fourth units, which have not yet reached the 45-year milestone, means they can operate for a further five years. Preparatory work to support this has already begun. "We hope that 2024-2025 will see the physical start-up and commercial operation of the first and then the second unit of the Kursk-II NPP," Uvakin added.

Kursk-II 1&2 are being built according to the VVER-TOI project (standard optimised informatised pressurised water power reactor), which is a development of the VVER-1200 reactor design with increased capacity and improved technical and economic indicators. Kursk II is intended as a replacement station for the currently operating Kursk NPP, which comprises four RBMK reactors. Unit 1 was closed in 2021. Originally the commissioning of Kursk-II units 1&2 was meant to coincide with the closure of Kursk 1&2.

Image: Russia's Kursk 2 RMBK reactor will be permanently shut down in 2024 (courtesy of Kursk NPP)