24.08.2023  Information and Public Relations Department of the Kursk NPP

Two reactors of the Leningrad NPP have been completely unloaded of nuclear fuel

One of the important stages of preparation for the decommissioning of shut down power units No. 1 and No. 2 has been completed at the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant - specialists have removed the last fuel assembly (FA) from the reactor of power unit No. 2 RBMK-1000. The reactor of power unit No. 1 was completely unloaded of nuclear fuel in August 2021. In total, Leningrad NPP employees removed 3361 fuel assemblies: 1693 – from the reactor of the first block and 1668 from the second. After unloading nuclear fuel, the use of blocks as an energy source is impossible. 

The fuel was unloaded into special holding pools. Less than half of the fuel that has burned out will be used in the reactors of the operating units No. 3 and No. 4, the rest will be transferred to the station's spent nuclear fuel storage facility. 

Vladimir Pereguda, director of the Leningrad NPP said: “We are transporting part of the fuel that was “not burned out” in the reactor to units No. 3 and No. 4 for further use. This afterburning technology makes it possible to achieve a significant economic effect - we do not buy new fuel and, thus, further reduce the costs of handling spent fuel assemblies.” 

Units No. 1 and No. 2 of the RBMK-1000 Leningrad NPP were shut down after 45 years of safe operation in 2018 and 2020. From that moment, the stage of preparation for decommissioning began. To date, fuel has been completely removed from the reactor plants, and by the end of 2024, it is planned to remove fuel from both power units. All work with nuclear fuel is performed in strict accordance with the requirements of federal norms and rules. 

As a reminder, in July 2023, in Sosnovy Bor, the procedure for public discussions of license justification materials and preliminary environmental impact assessment materials for the decommissioning of RBMK-1000 power units No. 1 and 2 was completed. Members of the public supported the plans to decommission these power units of the Leningrad NPP, making sure that this process satisfies safety requirements, including environmental ones. Based on the results of public discussions, the materials for substantiating the license in the field of the use of atomic energy, including preliminary environmental assessment materials, will be finalized and sent for state environmental expertise. 

At the moment, power units No. 3, 4 and 6 are in operation at LNPP. They carry a total load of 3180 MW. 

The radiation background at the Leningrad NPP and in the area of its location is at a level corresponding to the normal operation of power units, and does not exceed natural background values. 

Operational information on the radiation situation near Russian NPPs and other facilities of the nuclear industry is available on the website www.russianatom.ru

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Today, Russia continues to provide stable energy security. Energy is the basis for the progressive social and economic development of the country, the supply of industry and citizens. The domestic fuel and energy complex works to increase the competitiveness of the national economy, and contributes to the development and improvement of the country's regions, cities, and towns, to improve the quality of life of citizens. The share of low-carbon power generation in the Russian energy sector is already about 40%. In the future, taking into account the growth in the share of nuclear generation, it will only grow. 

The Leningrad NPP is one of the largest nuclear power plants in Russia with an installed capacity of 4,400 MW. 4 RBMK-1000 units and 2 PWR-1200 units are operated here. Units No. 1 and No. 2 of the RBMK-1000 have been shut down for decommissioning after 45 years of service. They were replaced by two PWR-1200 units in 2018 and 2021. Their design life is 60 years with the possibility of extension for another 20 years. In addition to them, two new power units No. 7 and No. 8 PWR-1200 of the Leningrad NPP are planned to be put into operation in 2030 and 2032, respectively. They will become the replacement capacities of power units No. 3 and No. 4 of RBMK-1000. The annual output of each PWR-1200 power unit will be more than 8.5 billion kWh of electricity.

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