One of the key events of nuclear industry in Russia and the world has happened at Novovoronezh NPP – the newest power unit No1 of Novovoronezh NPP-2 with 3+ generation VVER-1200 reactor has been put into industrial operation.
The corresponding order was signed on 27 February 2017 by Rosenergoatom General Director Andrey Petrov on the basis of the permission obtained from ROSATOM. Earlier the Federal Environmental, Industrial and Nuclear Supervision Service (Rostekhnadzor) issued a decision that project documentation of the commissioned object meets technical rules and regulations, including the requirements of energy efficiency.
Unit 1 of NVNPP-2 was first connected to country’s Unified Energy System and started the electric energy generation on 5 August 2016. Low power testing was successfully passed at the stages of power start-up, pilot operation, during which the equipment and system checkout and testing at different capacity levels and under different operation conditions were carried out.
The testing was successfully finished on 23 February 2017 by 15-days performance testing at 100% capacity, in the course of which a sustainable load carrying ability of the power unit was confirmed in accordance with the project parameters. By the time the NVNPP power unit No 1 was put into industrial operation it had already generated 1,691 million kWh of electric energy. “I’m grateful to the Novovoronezh NPP personnel for selfless work not only at work delivery of commissioning the power unit, but also for tireless efforts upon a preparation of the required documentation for Rostekhnadzor”, the Novovoronezh NPP Plant Manager Vladimir Povarov said.
In comparison with traditional power units with VVER-1000 reactor, the NPP-2006 project, upon which the first power unit of NVNPP-2 is constructed, has a number of advantages that substantially increase its economic characteristics and safety. Thus, the electric capacity of the reactor unit has been increased by 20% from 1000 to 1200 MW; main equipment (reactor and steam-generators vessels) lifespan has been doubled from 30 to 60 years; due to high-level automation and implementation of new technological concepts the number of personnel is reduced by 25-30%. Moreover, the power unit meets the so-called post-Fukushima safety requirements. A number of up-to-date and unique safety systems has been applied, such as corium trap or passive heat removal system that in the absence of electric power supply and human participation allows to cool the reactor core by means of air natural circulation.
At the present time 3+ generation power units are being constructed in the USA and France; however, it is the Russian power unit No 1 of NVNPP-2 that became the first new generation nuclear power unit in the world put into industrial operation.
The Novovoronezh nuclear power plant is a branch of the JSC "Concern Rosenergoatom". The station is located on the bank of the Don River in 42 km to the south of Voronezh. It is the Russia's first nuclear power plant with VVER reactors (water-to-water power reactors of case type with regular water under pressure). Each of five reactors of the station can be a main one – a prototype of serial power reactors: the power unit No. 1 with the VVER-210 reactor, the power unit No. 2 with the VVER-365 reactor, the No. 3, 4 power units with the VVER-440 reactors, the power unit No. 5 with the VVER-1000 reactor. The first power unit was launched in 1964, the second – in 1969, third – in 1971, fourth – 1972, fifth – 1980. There are three power units (power units No.1, 2 were stopped in 1984 and 1990 respectively) in work at the moment. Since 2007, the innovative 6th and 7th power blocks with the capacity of 1200 megawatts each have been constructed at the Novovoronezh NPP’s site. Power unit No 1 of Novovoronezh NPP-2 was put into industrial operation on 27.02.17. Construction and assembly works at power unit No 2 of Novovoronezh NPP are being carried on.