Russia’s Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation has announced the successful completion of the fuel loading at Unit-2 of Novovoronezh Nuclear Power Plant-2. The Unit 2 is scheduled to become operational by the end of 2019. It is one of the reference units of under-construction Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant in Bangladesh.
Equipped with the “Generation 3+” VVER-1200 reactor, the first batch of 163 fuel assemblies had been successfully installed on February, 19 and the remaining assemblies were loaded within next five days. The initial fuel loading marks the beginning of the reactor start-up.
VVER-1200 is a flagship nuclear reactor and core product of Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation. Being an evolution of VVER-1000 reactors that were built in Iran (Bushehr), India (Kudankulam) and China (Tianwan), the new design features improved performance across all parameters. Its capacity has increased by 7%, number of operational staff required is reduced by 30-40%, and the reactor’s lifetime has been increased to 60 years with a possibility of extending it up to 80 years.
The Unit-2 would be the third in the series after Unit 1 at the same plant, launched in 2016, and Unit 1 at the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant-2, launched in 2017.
VVER-type reactors, developed and constructed in Russia are basically light-water reactors, in which normal water is used under pressure. In such reactors, water serves both as a neutron moderator and as a reactor coolant.
The VVER-type reactors are considered to be one of the safest reactors worldwide and form the basis of the Russian nuclear industry development program. The experience of successfully operating NPPs with VVER-type reactors has already exceeded 1,400 accident-free reactor-years. Nuclear power plants with VVER-type reactors, built in cooperation with Russian specialists in Finland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia and other countries have been proved to be safe and economically efficient.
Nuclear power units with VVER-1200 reactors are now at various stages of implementation in Turkey, Bangladesh, Finland, Egypt, Uzbekistan and Hungary. The Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant will have two units of VVER-1200 rectors.