Unit 1 at the Leningrad-II nuclear power plant in Russia is ready to receive nuclear fuel, the plant press service said on 25 July. A storage facility consisting of two rooms with a total area of 500m2 is ready for the transfer and loading of fresh fuel assemblies. Equipment and lifting mechanisms at the facility have been commissioned, and legal documentation is in place. Infrastructure for the safe delivery of nuclear fuel has been completed and the roads reconstructed along the delivery route.

The facility is fully prepared for receiving, storing, accounting and controlling fresh nuclear fuel. For the first fuel loading, 163 assemblies will be delivered to the storage facility.

Leningrad, launched in 1973, operates four power units with RBMK-1000 reactors, each of which has had its 30-year life extended by 15 years. In August 2007, work began on the construction of Leningrad NPP-II, equipped with advanced   VVER-1200 reactors which will replace the original plant. Earlier in July flushing of pipelines and equipment for the first circuit of the VVER-1200 at unit 1 of the new plant was completed. The unit is scheduled for start-up by the end of this year, with pilot production scheduled for 2018.