Russia’s Novovoronezh NPP is preparing to decommission unit 3 of the plant and to commission unit 6 (also known as unit 1 of Novovoronezh Phase II).

Unit 3 has undergone its last repair before decommissioning. The scheduled preventive repair (SPR) was carried out "to repair the reactor and turbines and carry out routine servicing of essential and auxiliary equipment of the power unit," the plant statement said. The repair was completed eight days ahead of schedule.

After decommissioning unit 3, the plant plans to use "most on its systems and equipment for service life extension of Unit 4". During the SPR "a large scope of work was done to examine and extend service life of this equipment" as well as the equipment, which will be used in the decommissioning process.

Novovoronezh 3 and 4, with VVER-440 reactors, were commissioned in 1971 and 1972. In 2001-2002 their service lives were extended for 15 years beyond design life to 2016 and 2017.

Meanwhile, on 5 April, fuel-loading was completed at Russia’s first Generation-III nuclear reactor at unit 1 of Novovoronezh II. A new loading pattern, which combines fresh nuclear fuel with fuel dummies, was used at the 1,114MWe VVER-1200/392M pressurised water reactor, Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom said. Grid connection for the unit is scheduled for this summer and commissioning for commercial operation before the end of 2016. Novovoronezh II unit 1 will be the reference plant for this reactor design.