26.12.2016  Information and Public Relations Administration Rosenergoatom Concern JSC

Novovoronezh NPP: power unit No 3 will become the testing ground for elaboration of decommissioning technology

The power unit No 3 of Novovoronezh NPP that have been finally shut down on 25 December will is going to be the pilot power unit for elaboration of decommissioning technology of the VVER-440 reactor operation and will help to expand the competencies of Rosenergatom Concern for further entrance to the international market of services in nuclear energy industry.

Over 45 years of operation the Novovoronezh NPP power unit No 3 has generated 118.67 billion kWh of electric energy; this is more than a half of annual generation of all Russian NPPs. The amount of electric energy power unit No 3 has generated is enough to power the whole Voronezh Oblast for 8 years.

 The power unit No 3 with VVER-440 reactor was put in commercial operation in December 1971. This power unit was the first of its entire family of series 440 MW power units. Aside from Russia only 29 power units of similar projects were built, namely in Armenia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine and Finland. There also were 6 power units in Russia: two units at Novovoronezh NPP, and four units at Kola NPP. A shutdown and further decommissioning of the majority of operating foreign NPPs will begin after 2030, which will require a large number of specialized enterprises and personnel with corresponding skills. It is estimated that market volume of decommissioning of foreign nuclear power units with VVER-440 reactors built upon Russian projects may comprise 29 billion dollars.

The technology of decommissioning of power units with VVER-440 reactors approved when decommissioning the operation of Novovoronezh NPP’s power units No 1 and 2 will be elaborated on the power unit No 3. These works will be executed by Pilot and Demonstration Engineering Center for Decommissioning VVER reactors (PDEC) situated on NPP’s territory. The received experience will be used while performing the similar works on Russian and foreign power units of this series.

One of the most important functions that shutdown unit will have is to use the power unit No 3 to develop the safety systems of Novovoronezh NPP’s power unit No 4 with the same VVER-440 reactor while performing the complex of works on repeated power unit life extension.

The elaboration of technologies on disassembly and deactivation of equipment and building constructions, radioactive waste management, required for decommissioning of nuclear power units holds a great promise not only in Russia, but also on the international market. At the present moment Rosenergoatom Concern manages the works on decommissioning the units No 1 and 2 of Novovoronezh NPP. Gaining an experience and building the portfolio of high performance technologies will be required when decommissioning the third power unit of Novovoronezh NPP, as well as when entering the international market.

For reference
Adjusting and startup procedures on the power unit No 3 have required the establishment of task group on adjustment and starting up the VVER-4400 power units under operations division of Novovoronezh NPP. At the present time the group has become the biggest enterprise within ATOMTEKHENERGO JSC (subsidiary company of Rosenergoatom Concern) engaged in adjusting and startup procedures on new power units within and outside Russia.

The building of new power units with VVER-440 reactors at Novovoronezh NPP required a great number of highly-skilled specialists. In order to train them, a simulator – an exact copy of main control room (MCR) of VVER-440 power unit – was designed on Novovoronezh NPP. It has trained more than 3,000 of Soviet and foreign specialists.

For carrying out researches at the power unit No 3, Novovoronezh NPP was the first to establish a research department; its specialists has worked at such tasks as advancing of the core inventory calculation program and improvement of nuclear fuel use. The works on research of nuclear fuel in “hot cell” were unique. The results of this unique for Russian NPPs researches made it possible to develop the construction and fabrication technology of fuel assemblies (FAs) and assemblies of reactor control and monitoring system.

In 1999-2002 the works on life extension of the expiring in 2001 power unit No 3 of Novovoronezh NPP were executed. Their safety and correspondence to modern requirements is proved. The reactor vessel annealing allowing to restore steel properties was executed for the first time; the technology was used on NPPs in our country and abroad. After complete modernization of the power unit No 3 the RTN license was obtained; the license allows its operation for 15 years beyond the established time limit that is until 2016.

he 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. The 7th power block is currently undergoing construction and assembly activities and is planned to be completed in 2018.

The up-to-date information on the nuclear environment close to the Russian NOOs and other nuclear objects is available at www.russianatom.ru

Information and Public Relations Administration Rosenergoatom Concern JSC.

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