The project documentation development has begun at the Leningrad NPP to facilitate the 1st and 2nd power blocks’ decommissioning

The representatives of the Leningrad NPP, the Rosenergoatom Joint-Stock Company, AO TVEL, AO Atomenergoproject, AO VNIIAES, AO NIKIET, AO CPTI and AO GK NEOLANT held a kick-off meeting to discuss the specifics of the roadmap for the Leningrad NPP’s 1st and 2nd power blocks’ decommissioning and the development of applicable project documentation.

It is important to note that the Leningrad NPP 1st power block was stopped for decommissioning in December 2018. According to the Rostekhnadzor license, it is not operated in the ‘non-generation’ mode. In November 2020, the 2nd power block will be stopped for decommissioning, too.

This is why one of the key assignments for the Leningrad NPP in the short term, apart fr om nuclear fuel removal from power blocks, is the development of decommissioning project documentation. Each NPP block requires its own decommissioning program.

Alexander Ananyev, the deputy chief engineer of the Leningrad NPP modernization: ‘Successful decommissioning of an RBMK-1000 power block after its life span elapses is a crucial and unprecedented challenge faced by the Russian nuclear power experts. Special focus is on developing a quality set of project documentation. There are 11 RBMK-1000 power blocks in Russia. As of today, the Leningrad NPP’s 1st power block is a flagship of the Russian reactor engineering that has been serving us well for 45 years, and it’s still on the cutting edge of technology paving the way for all RBMK blocks that are getting ready for decommissioning’.

There is a number of other important design aspects, including but not limited to the condition of buildings and constructions, the infrastructure, the networks that will either be shut down or transferred to service other alternative productions. AO Atomenergoproject is to evaluate those to make the decommissioning project optimal from the resource utilization point of view.

Alexey Kuznetsov, head of the Leningrad NPP decommissioning department: ‘The power block that has been shutdown for decommissioning is considered to be operational until the fuel is removed, which is to be completed by approximately 2023. The decommissioning is quote lengthy, which is why the buildings and constructions as well as some systems and elements need to remain operational at all stages and facilitate safe work conduct. When the 1st power block is shutdown, some of the obsolete elements will not have depleted their resources, which is why we are planning to reuse them’.

A big part of the discussion covered digital decommissioning experience. This is wh ere the AO CPTI experts shared their best practices. Vladimir Liaschenko, chief engineer at the AO GK NEOLANT project, joined in the conversation and told about the Digital Decomissioning platform. The main task for all decommissioning participants is to develop a typical plan, which is why digitization will play a key role.

As of now, 3D plant site and block models (several dozens of buildings and constructions) featuring pipelines and equipment have been created for the Leningrad NPP power blocks’ decommissioning. Additionally, a big electronic archive of design, construction and operational documentation has been prepared.

Brand new 3+ generation power blocks with innovative VVER-1200 reactors have already been constructed to replace the RBMK-100 ones at the Leningrad NPP. 

The Leningrad NPP is the country’s first plant with RBMK-1000 reactors (uranium-graphite circuit-type reactor running on thermal neutrons). The decision that marked its construction was taken in September 1966 by a resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the USSR and the Council of Ministers No. 800-252. According to that document, the Leningrad NPP was supposed to become a core in a network of nuclear power plants with RBMK-1000 reactors that were supposed to produce a substantial share of electric power. The construction of the Leningrad NPP was going well, and by 1973 the first power block was fully erected. On December 23, 1973, following stable 72-hours’ operation at the capacity of 150 megawatt, the State Commission signed the acceptance certificate stating that the first power block of the Leningrad nuclear power plant is commissioned for pilot production.rship

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