The Leningrad NPP: the new VVER-1200 power unit has successfully undergone the international partnership pre-launch verification held by the WANO

The experts of the Moscow Office of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO MO) has completed the partnership pre-launch verification of the Leningrad NPP VVER-1200 6th power unit. The international mission was held to evaluate if the constructed unit is ready for safe launch and ongoing operation.

Partnership verifications take part at operating NPPs once every four years, including the startup units. During the checkups at the Leningrad NPP, the international team of experts has verified the operational, fire and emergency safety of the power unit along with the safety culture among the NPP staff. All those areas are extremely important to facilitate reliability and security of the nuclear facility during its whole operation lifespan, especially when the company is switching from the construction to the operation stage. In fact, these are additional tools to improve the safety of the future NPP.

Hossein Gaffari, the head of the Iran Nuclear Power organization representation in Russia: ‘This is a pre-launch verification, and our goal is to help the Leningrad NPP staff to be fully prepared for this key event. Being an industry advisor, I took part in the review of the unit main control room, the turbine machine hall. Prior to that, my colleagues have checked the equipment and the rooms that are of primary important to start the power unit. The outcomes of the verification confirm that the unit is ready for full-scale startup operations. The way the documentation is designed and the staff is trained is very high, and the Leningrad NPP design confirms that extra safety requirements towards the power units under construction have been duly met’.

It is important to note that the process of putting the VVER-1200 6th power unit in operation takes place in stages, and it commenced on July 19, 2020, with the physical launch when the first fresh fuel assembly was placed into the reactor vessel.
At the next stages, during the power start-up, the pilot production and the complex trial of the power unit, all systems will undergo the final check. The introduction of the Leningrad NPP VVER-1200 power unit into commercial operation is scheduled for 2021. The new unit will replace its predecessor, the Leningrad NPP RBMK-1000 power unit, that has successfully operated in the country for 45 years.

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