Work has begun on the foundation of the evaporative cooling tower for unit 7 at the Leningrad NPP. As part of the project, 919 piles with a diameter of 0.6 metres and a length of 35 metres will be used to lay the foundation for the cooling tower. Construction of the tower will require more than 13,000 cubic metres of concrete. At a final height of 179 metres, it will become one of the highest structures in the Leningrad region.

“Now builders are working on the installation of seven test and 28 anchor piles in preparation for tests at the next stage and to determine the real bearing capacity of the supports on the ground,” said Yevgeny Milushkin, head of the capital construction department at the Leningrad-II NPP. “We can say that this is a kind of dress rehearsal before the main stage of the construction of the pile foundation of the cooling tower. Based on the data obtained, the draft foundation can be adjusted so that it is ultimately guaranteed to ensure the stability of the cooling tower – for example, by increasing the diameter or length of the piles or their layout.”

Currently Leningrad NPP has four units in operation – units 3&4 with Soviet RBMK-1000 reactors, as well units 5&6 with new VVER-1200 units (also known as Leningrad-II 1&2). Units 5&6 replaced units 1&2 with RBMK-1000 reactors, which were decommissioned in 2018 and 2020. New VVER-1200 units (7&8) will replace units 3&4. They are scheduled to be put into commercial operation in 2030 and 2032. Ground preparation for their construction began in 2022. Excavation of the foundation pit for unit 7 was completed in September 2023.

Image courtesy of Leningrad NPP