Rosenergoatom is setting up the RBMK units final shutdown engineering center in St Petersburg

Under the auspices of the Leningrad NPP (city of Sosnovy Bor, the Leningrad region), a new pilot and demonstration engineering center in charge of NPP channel-type reactor facility power units (RBMK) final shutdown has been established.

This decision was made by the Board of Directors of the Rosenergoatom Joint-Stock Company (a part of the Electric power division of the Rosatom State Corporation). Besides, the Beloyarsk NPP in the Sverdlovsk region hosts its subdivision.

‘Recently, we have committed to constructing new power units, some of those in Leningrad. They will replace the power units whose reactor facility are due to shut down in the next decade. All in all, by 2030, 18 units will be shut in Russia, most of those having RBMK facilities. The newly-established engineering center will work on safe serial shutdown of the stopped channel-type reactor facility power units’, Andrey Petrov, the CEO of the Rosenergoatom Joint-Stock Company, noted.

This is the second pilot and demonstration engineering center established by Rosenergoatom. The first one emerged in 2013 and started operating at the Novovoronezh NPP 1st and 2nd power units with VVER reactors. Now, taking into consideration its positive experience, this RBMK pilot project will be run by the Leningrad NPP 1st and 2nd power units and the Beloyarsk NPP 1st and 2nd power units.

The reason the Leningrad NPP was chosen as the main site was because this is the first one in a series of power units operating uranium-graphite channel-type reactors RBMK-1000. The 1st power block was stopped in 2018 following 45 years of successful service, and the remaining three power blocks are due to stop in the next 5 years. This is why it is to host the center that will coordinate the shutdown of power units at other Russian NPPs – the ones in Kursk and Smolensk, followed by the ones in Beloyarsk and Bilibino.

Vladimir Pereguda, the director of the Leningrad NPP: ‘Starting today, the team of the Leningrad NPP will start working on the technology that will take its place in the history – just like it happened with the technology on RBMK resource parameters restoration. Another thing to mention is that this engineering center will establish hundreds of extra workplaces for various specialists’.

With regard to the Beloyarsk NPP, the 1st and the 2nd power blocks were fully stopped in the last century and are getting prepared for proper shutdown. ‘Our AMB-100 and AMB-200 reactors are, technically, the ancestors for the RBMK reactors. This is why we are going to take advantage of the uranium-graphite channel-type reactors shutdown technology that is being developed by the Leningrad NPP engineering center’, Ivan Sidorov, the director of the Beloyarsk NPP, said.

In order to facilitate the operation of the pilot and demonstration engineering center, a roadmap of cooperation between the center and the NPP has been approved along with the schedule of actions. Shortly, the process of competitive hiring will commence with further training on the new competencies required for the proper shutdown.

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