Rosenergoatom, the operator subsidiary of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, announced today that preparatory work for the construction of four new reactors has commenced. Two VVER-TOI units are to be built at a new plant near the existing Smolensk site, while two VVER-1200 units will be built as units 3 and 4 of the Leningrad II plant.
Rosenergoatom said the corresponding decision to construct the units was signed by Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachov following a meeting on the organisation of work on the construction of reactors in Russia and the appointment of those responsible for the implementation of investment projects. It noted that the new units at Smolensk and Leningrad II are included in the general plan for the placement of electric power facilities until 2035, already approved by the Russian government. Likhachov noted that VVER-1200 and VVER-TOI reactors are being built not only in Russia, but also abroad. He said they use "the most advanced achievements and developments that meet all modern international safety requirements".
For the new Smolensk II and Leningrad II units, Rosenergoatom will act as the technical contractor for both investment projects. Atomproekt JSC and Atomenergoproekt JSC will act as the chief designer of the Leningrad II and Smolensk II units, respectively.
By the end of this year, a project for the preparatory work will begin at the construction site for the new units 3 and 4 at Leningrad II. Temporary accommodation and an industrial base will be built at the construction site. Between 2020 and 2022, public hearings will be held on the substantiation of the licence and environmental impact assessment of the new units to obtain a construction licence.
Leningrad II will have four VVER-1200 units. Leningrad unit 1 was shut down for decommissioning on 21 December last year. Leningrad II unit 1 was connected to the grid on 9 March 2018, becoming the second VVER-1200 reactor to start up, following the launch in 2016 of Novovoronezh unit 6.
The new Smolensk II plant - featuring two VVER-TOI (typical optimised, with enhanced information) reactors with a total capacity of 2510 MWe - will be built 6 km from the existing Smolensk plant. The first VVER-TOI unit is under construction as part of the Kursk II nuclear power project. By the end of 2020, it is planned to develop and approve an action plan for the Smolensk II investment project and open financing for the implementation of measures in accordance with the plan. Smolensk II is to replace the three RBMK reactors at Smolensk I, which are expected to remain in operation until the new plant starts to come online.
Commenting on the construction of the four new units, Rosenergoatom General Director Andrei Petrov said: "The new power units will replace the units with RBMK-1000 reactors, whose service life will end in the next decade. According to preliminary estimates, the construction at two sites at once will create up to 15,000 new jobs, will provide regular tax revenues to regional and local budgets."