On the 9 of March 2018, at 09:19, the most important operation was completed, i.e. Leningrad NPP Unit 1’s generator was synchronized with the grid and the unit started delivering first kilowatt-hours to the United Energy System of Russia. Innovative Unit 1 with a Generation III+ reactor VVER-1200 is installed at Leningrad Phase II (a branch of Rosenergoatom which is part of the Power Division of ROSATOM).
“The Leningrad new superpower unit has started generating first electricity and shifted from the being constructed rank to the operating rank. I would like to greet the team of Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant as well as designers, builders, installers and adjusters with the birth of a new atomic giant!” Director General of ROSATOM Alexei Likhachev said, commenting on the remarkable event.
Chief Engineer of Leningrad NPP under Construction Aleksandr Belyaev explained that thermal power of VVER-1200 reactor had been brought up to 35% of rated power and fast-speed turbine K-1200-6,8/50 had successfully achieved 3,000 revolutions per minute. These were done to connect the generator to the grid. The new unit of Leningrad NPP was connected to the grid at the minimum controlled power of 240 MW and has to operate for 4 hours at this level as prescribed by the program. During this time period it will produce some 1 million kWh of electricity.
“Today, we once again have tested reliability and safety of process systems functioning at the start-up power unit. The operation has acknowledged being successful. There are no issues with equipment. Having released first kilowatts to the grid, we have completed the first power program and are ready to start the next phase that is the pilot commercial operation,” Leningrad Plant Manager Vladimir Pereguda commented on the results of the operation.
Unit 1 of Leningrad Phase II with a VVER-1200 reactor is the second of this type in the world; the first reactor was commissioned at Novovoronezh NPP in 2016. To remind, the start-up operations at Unit 1 of Leningrad Phase II started on December 8, 2017 when first fuel assemblies with fresh fuel were loaded in the reactor core (First Criticality Program). On February 6, 2018 Unit 1’s reactor was brought to the minimum controlled power that started a set of tests. On February 15, 2018 the First Criticality Program of Unit 1 VVER-1200 was done in full scope.
Innovative and currently most powerful units with water-water power reactors VVER-1200, which are being built at Leningrad NPP, have been developed by JSC ATOMPROEKT. It is an enterprise which does inclusive design of nuclear facilities, research and development of nuclear power technologies of the new generation. ATOMPROEKT’s designed power units pertain to the Generation III+. They use cutting-edge achievements and developments that meet all post-Fukushima requirements. The main feature of the VVER-1200 design is a unique combination of active and passive safety systems which make the plant maximally robust to external and internal impacts.
Leningrad NPP is a branch of Rosenergoatom Concern JSC. The plant is situated in the city of Sosnovy Bor 40 km to the west of Saint-Petersburg on the coast of the Gulf of Finland. Leningrad NPP in the first plant in the country to use RBMK-100 reactors (uranium-graphite pressure-tube thermal-neutron nuclear reactors). The plant operates 4 units with 1,000 MW of electric capacity each. Unit 1 is at the phase of “first power”; its VVER-1200 reactor will serve as a replacement capacity. Also, the construction of Unit 2 (the same type of the reactor) continues. The Client is Rosenergoatom; Architect General is ATOMPROEKT; and General Contractor is JSC CONCERN TITAN-2.