On 27 December, Unit 3 of Rostov nuclear power plant (the 34th unit in Russia) was connected to the grid and started generating the first kilowatt-hours of electric power. It was commissioned several months earlier than planned.
Andrey Salnikov, Rostov Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) Manager explains, “Safety is not a subject for compromise and early commissioning will not occur if there are any outstanding safety issues. All safety aspects were fully observed, demonstrated by multiple reviews performed by Rostechnadzor that gave the authorisation to pass from one phase to another, as well as by those conducted by international experts. The change in schedule was due to labour optimisation and the implementation of the Rosatom production system.”
As to pre-startup reviews, WANO conducted several missions in 2014, during which both personnel and the facility were inspected by experienced international experts. For example, in the case of Jean-Marie Baggio, the Pre-Startup Team Leader of WANO Hong Kong pre-startup peer review office, this was the 36th review in his career, and the 14th at a pre-startup unit. He is extremely familiar with NPPs built by Russian specialists.
Within a two-week period, a team of 16 international (Ukraine, Bulgaria, France, Iran, USA) and Russian WANO Moscow Centre experts had examined the documentation and unit under construction. The work was conducted in the following areas: organisation and administration, operation, repair, engineering support, radiation protection, chemical plant, operating experience, training and qualifications of personnel, fire safety, and emergency preparedness.
Sergey Vybornov, the WANO Moscow Center Deputy Director, shares; “The WANO Peer Review was mutually beneficial: on the one hand, we indicated areas for improvement for our Rostov colleagues to improve prior to the unit commissioning, and on the other we gained experience of good practices.”
On 24 February 2014, Rostov Unit 3 was shut down for a 27-day scheduled maintenance outage to ensure any issues discovered during initial startup were thoroughly examined and repaired prior to the reactor achieving full power. Unit 3 will be put into commercial operation tentatively in July 2015, after development of 100% rated power and performance of acceptance tests.
Two years after the startup of Rostov Unit 3, WANO will carry out another Peer Review of the plant. Meanwhile, Unit 3 will allow Rostov NPP to generate an additional several billion KWh of electricity, helping to secure energy supply in Russia.