At the Leningrad NPP they began to unload nuclear fuel from the reactor of the shutdown power unit No. 2

At the shutdown power unit No. 2 of the Leningrad NPP, specialists began unloading spent fuel assemblies (SFAs) from the reactor.  So one of the most important stages of its preparation for decommissioning has begun - after the nuclear fuel has been unloaded, it is impossible to use the unit as an energy source.

All work with nuclear fuel is performed in strict accordance with the requirements of federal rules and regulations.  The complete unloading of all 1,685 spent fuel assemblies in the reactor will be finished in 2023.

Nuclear fuel is discharged into at-reactor ponds after holding in the reactor. Then, part of the spent fuel assemblies will be moved to the station storage and then removed from the Leningrad NPP site to the regional storage.  Another part of the fuel, which has burned out less than half of the target depth, will be sent for afterburning in the reactors of the operating power unit No. 3 and No. 4 of the Leningrad NPP.

“At the moment the operating reactors are afterburning unburned fuel assemblies of power unit No. 1, which was shut down in 2018 to prepare for decommissioning. The economic efficiency of this approach for two power units is savings on the purchase of 1000 new fuel assemblies and, accordingly, savings on handling the same amount of spent fuel assemblies," - Igor Lozhnikov, deputy chief engineer, commented on the work.

Let us remind that power unit No. 2 of RBMK-1000 was shut down in November 2020 after 45 years of operation.  As in the case of power unit No. 1, routine operations are performed on it to prepare for decommissioning.  By the time of shutdown of both power units, two new PWR-1200 generation 3+ units of increased power were put into operation. In comparison with RBMK power units, the new PWR-1200 power units have a number of advantages: they are 20% more powerful, and the service life of their irreplaceable equipment is doubled and is 60 years.

The Leningrad NPP is a branch of Rosenergoatom and the largest electricity producer in the North-West Federal District of Russia.  The share of the Leningrad NPP in ensuring the energy consumption of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region in recent years has been more than 56%.

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