TVER, October 24 (Itar-Tass) —— The loading of the radiation core has been completed at the fourth reactor of the Kalinin nuclear power plant. The full set of 163 fuel assemblies has been installed at the reactor, the plant’s official said on Monday, adding that it was take three days to complete the operation.
The installation of fuel assemblies opened the way for the pre-commercial commissioning of the reactor of the NPP fourth power unit, the official said, stressing that this is one of the key stages of the power unit launching. The stage envisages an installation of the reactor core, which comprises fuel assemblies, and creation of the working instruments of the protection and control system, the official explained.
“Now, specialists of the plant will hold necessary physical measuring operations,” the official said, adding, “After that, the fourth power unit will be launched to generate the minimally-controlled level of electricity.” The next stage is “the electricity-generating start-up.”
The Kalinin nuclear power plant is the largest producer of electricity in the central part of Russia.
It consists of three power units equipped by water-cooled water-moderated units VVER with the capacity of 1,000 megawatt each. It distributes electricity through two transmission lines of 330 kilowatt and through four 750-kilowatt lines to eight Russian regions.
The third power unit is one of the newest among the 31 units operating at Russia’s ten nuclear power plants. This is one of the most modern facilities of the Russian atomic energy industry.
More than 600 unique novelties, aimed at enhancing the unit's security, were introduced during its construction. It was commissioned in December 2004.
The first reactor was commissioned in 1984, the second in 1986. Together with the third unit, the fourth unit is part of the Kalinin NPP second segment. It is planned to start up the fourth unit in 2011.
At present, the fourth power unit is under construction. Its project was adopted by the Energy Ministry in October 1985. However, the construction operations were suspended in compliance with the decision of the local authorities in 1991, when a fifth part of the construction works at the fourth power unit was completed. In 2007, the final project of the NPP enlargement was adopted and a state contract for the construction of the power unit was signed. The State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom is the general customer of the project, while the Nizhny Novgorod Engineering Company (NIAEP) is the general contractor.
The commissioning of the fourth power unit is expected to increase the plant’s taxation to the budget by one-third.
The Kalinin nuclear power plant is a subsidiary of the state-run nuclear operator Rosenergoatom Concern.
The nuclear power plant is located in the north of the Tver Region, 330 kilometers northwest from Moscow and 400 kilometres of St. Petersburg. It generated 20.106 billion kilowatt-hour of electricity in 2006, which was 2.84 billion kilowatt-hours more than in 2005. The capacity factor made up 80.45 percent.
The Kalinin nuclear power plant covers the capacity deficit in the Russian unified power grid. The power plant largely meets the needs of the eight Russian regions in electricity.