Unit 2 of Russia’s Novovoronezh II nuclear plant began commercial operation, 30 days ahead of schedule, state nuclear corporation Rosatom announced on 1 November.

The Novovoronezh II-2 VVER-1200 reactor achieved minimum controlled power level on 22 March, was first connected to the grid on 1 May and started pilot operation in June. Acceptance tests were successfully completed on 16 September.

Rosatom noted that the unit has already produced 2.5TWh of electricity. Novovoronezh II-2 is the third VVER-1200 to be commissioned, following Novovoronezh II-1 in 2016 and Leningrad II-1 in 2017. Fuel loading at Leningrad II-2 is scheduled to begin in March 2020.
"We can now use this dual-unit nuclear power plant design as a reference for our foreign projects,” said Alexander Lokshin, first deputy director-general for Operational Management at Rosatom. "We have accumulated vast experience in construction, production organisation, procurement, supply and finance, as well as our continuously increasing effectiveness. This is crucial to meeting modern market requirements and facing the large-scale challenges when constructing nuclear power plants."
Rosatom also has VVER-1200 construction projects in Bangladesh, Belarus, China, Finland, Hungary, Turkey and Egypt. The company said its foreign orders portfolio currently comprises 36 VVER projects at different implementation stages across 12 markets.
Novovoronezh NPP was the first nuclear plant in Russia to host VVER-type reactors (light water-cooled pressurised reactors) and its reactors are leading VVER prototypes. The first power unit at the site was commissioned in 1964 (VVER-210), the second in 1969 (VVER 365), the third in 1971 (VVER-440), the fourth in 1972 (VVER-440), and the fifth in 1980 (VVER-1000). Units 1&2 were shut down in 1984 and 1990 and unit 3 in 2016. Unit four was shut down for modernisation work and has since resumed operation, while unit 5 recently underwent an upgrade and is licensed to operate until 2035.

Unit 1 of the Novovoronezh II (a VVER-1200, also known as Novovoronezh 6) began commercial operation in February 2017.  Commissioning unit 7 brings the number of power reactors in commercial operation in Russia to 36.

Photo: Novovoronezh II-2 started commercial operation on 1 November (Photo: Rosatom)