Deputies in the Voronezh Regional Duma (parliament) in Russia have been debating a draft law on changing the boundaries of the urban district of the city of Novovoronezh and the adjacent Kashirsky and Ostrogozhsky municipal districts to accommodate plans for new units at the Novovoronezh NPP. Land allocation is a necessary measure associated with the first stage of land preparation for construction the new units planned for 2050 as part of Rosatom’s long-term development strategy.

“The procedure for consulting the opinion of the population on the issue of changing municipal boundaries under… federal has been observed,” said Andrey Erenkov, head of the Voronezh Department of Architecture & Urban Planning.

Novovoronezh NPP Director Vladimir Povarov explained that construction of new units would mean serious tax deductions from the regional budget. “The task of the NPP, as one of the largest industrial enterprises in the region, is to benefit residents through implementation of socially significant projects for development of the territory where the nuclear facility is located. This will help make people's lives better and more comfortable, and allow them to look to the future with confidence. We hope that the plans will be realised.”

By 2040 units 4&5 at Novovoronezh are scheduled for closure and it is planned that at least one new unit with a VVER-1200 reactor will begin operating in the mid-2030s as part of stage 5 of the NPP. This will ensure economic growth, create new jobs, and contribute to the growth of scientific research and the export of high-tech products.

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 Novovoronezh II (a VVER-1200, also known as Novovoronezh 6) began commercial operation in February 2017 and unit 2 (Novovoronezh 7) in November 2019.

Image: The Novovoronezh nuclear power plant (courtesy of Rosatom)