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New reactor connects to the grid in Russia

By Kokina Natalya, Communication Specialist, Novovoronezh NPP

Novovoronezh Nuclear Power PlantOn 5 August 2016, at 03:35 AM, the Russia's largest innovative nuclear power unit of Generation 3+ was connected to the grid at the Novovoronezh nuclear power plant, an affiliate of the Russian operating utility Rosenergoatom. These units have enhanced safety performance in case of complete station blackout and are fully compliant with all the IAEA requirements. 

"This event is our major victory," says Andrey Petrov, Director General of Rosenergoatom. The unit is to begin commercial operation at the end of 2016 after completion of the commissioning testing program.

A WANO Moscow Centre management visit to Novovoronezh NPP is one of the first visits of an international organisation after power operation started at Unit 6.  The First Deputy to Director General of WANO Moscow Centre, Anatoly Kirichenko, visited the unit, which is currently undergoing commissioning, and congratulated colleagues with an important milestone in the life of the plant. 

Anatoly Kirichenko said "WANO works with 585 nuclear power units. We look after operation of nuclear power plants at all stages of their life cycle: commissioning, safe operation and decommissioning.  The Novovoronezh site is unique because units in all the three stages currently coexist at this plant. Therefore, we work especially closely with them." 

During his visit, Mr Kirichenko had a meeting with the management of Experimental Demonstration Engineering Center, an affiliate of Rosenergoatom. During the meeting they discussed the radioactive waste processing activities of the center. 

Anatoly Kirichenko also introduced the new on-site representative of WANO to the Novovoronezh NPP Anatoly Kirichenkomanagement; the deputy head of the operating experience feedback and event investigation department was appointed to that position. His predecessor Anatoly Shvarov now holds the position of Novovoronezh NPP Director Deputy for general issues. 

"Carrier advancement of Anatoly Shvarov is rather common for our industry. Over the last year, six WANO representatives at different Russian nuclear power plants received promotions.  This is indicative of the significant influence of our organization and the respect it commands", continued Mr Kirichenko. 

The main purpose of the WANO Moscow Centre on-site representative is to coordinate interaction between the WANO Moscow Center and Novovoronezh NPP, and is aimed to optimise support of Novovoronezh NPP activities aimed at maximizing the plant safety and improving its operation.

The duties of the new WANO MC representative Eduard Kosarev will include monitoring of the plant activities with respect to WANO criteria, communicating the observations made with the plant management, interacting with WANO MC to organize events at Novovoronezh NPP, participating in organization and conduct of peer reviews, technical support missions, benchmark visits for the benefit of Novovoronezh NPP, and a lot more.

Novovoronezh NPP is an affiliate of Rosenergoatom.  The plant is located in the bank of the Don river 42 kilometers south of Voronezh.  This is the first NPP in Russia with VVER reactors (vessel-type pressurized light water cooled and moderated reactors).  Each of the five reactors of the plant is a prototype of a series of power reactors.  The first unit was started up in 1964, the second - in 1969, the third - in 1971, the fourth - in 1972, and the fifth - in 1980.

Presently, there are three power units in operation (units 1 and 2 were decommissioned in 1984 and 1990, respectively).

Starting from 2007, construction of Units 6 and 7, innovative 1200 MW reactor units of AES-2006 design is in progress at Novovoronezh NPP site.