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Russia’s most powerful nuclear plant reactor enters commercial operation

February 28, 2017, 13:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, February 28. /TASS/. Russia’s most powerful nuclear reactor, also unparalleled in the world, has entered commercial operation. As the nuclear power concern Rosenergoatom has said the order to commission the 6th unit of the Novovoronezh NPP was signed by Rosenergoatom’s CEO Andrey Petrov on the basis of permission obtained from the state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom.

The reactor went on stream for the first time on August 5, 2016 to undergo comprehensive testing.

In contrast to the customary VVER-1000 reactors the NPP-2006 project at Novovoronezh boasts a number of advantages that considerably improve its economic parameters and safety.

The reactor’s capacity is up 20% to 1,200 megawatts in contrast to the VVER’s 1,000 megawatts; the life cycle of the main equipment, such as the reactor’s hull and steam generators, was doubled to 60 years from 30 years and the high degree of automation and new engineering solutions allowed for reducing personnel by 25%-30%. The reactor has such unparalleled features as the core melt trap and a passive heat transfer system that cools the reactor with the natural air flow even when power supply is off and participation of personnel is impossible.

Generation 3 Plus reactors are under construction in the United States and France, but Russia’s reactor at Novovoronezh is the first one of the new generation to have entered commercial operation.

The Novovoronezh NPP is an affiliate of the concern Rosenergoatom. It is situated on the Don River 42 kilometers south of Voronezh. It is Russia’s first NPP to have been equipped with water-pressurized VVER reactors. Each of the power plant’s five reactors was a pilot project in a series of power supply reactors.

Currently three reactors at Novovoronezh are in operation. The first and second reactors were shut down in 1984 and 1990 respectively. The third reactor is being withdrawn from operation.

Rosenergoatom has been building two new generation NPP-2006 reactors at Novovoronezh since 2007. All newly-built units will be equipped with VVER-1200 reactors.

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