The State Duma’s Deputies expressed their support in the development of nuclear power industry

On 27 March, 2018 at the site of  Leningrad NPP the visiting meeting of the Committee on Energy of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation was held. The results of the nuclear power generation complex of 2017, the prospects of its development, as well as the matters of legislative provision were the key topics.

Previously the representatives of the specialist committee of the State Duma have visited Baltiyskiy Zavod where the nuclear icebreaker Arktika and the world’s first floating nuclear power plant Akademik Lomonosov are being built, then they have arrived at Leningrad NPP, where the record number of electric energy in Russian history has been generated in 2018 and another key event in domestic nuclear energy industry is about to happen – a start of a decommissioning program of RBMK reactors and their replacement with new super power 3+ generation VVER-1200 reactors that meet all modern safety requirements.

“Within a two-day working trip we watched how prospective projects for both our country’s energy industry and world’s energy industry are being implemented”, the Head of State Duma’s Committee on Energy Pavel Zavalniy told about the purpose of the visit. “First of all, at Leningrad NPP we were interested in aspect of safe operation of RBMK power units before their decommissioning and, of course, the stage of the Experimental Industrial Pilot Operation at the new innovative power unit with VVER-1200 reactor that will be the basis of not only nuclear power industry in Russia, but also in countries where Rosatom constructs power units of new generation. Today we – together with the administration of nuclear power industry - consider this large complex of questions in order to see the situation from inside, from the point of view of the State Corporation, to assess its opportunities and the country’s opportunities in order to take into account all important moments during the preparation of investment programs that are to be implemented, especially in the matters of pricing, including the scheme of formation of power supply agreement to the consumer. And today’s meeting is one of the effective steps towards making such decisions at legislative level and at the RF government level.”

One of the main topics of the meeting was the safety of the operating nuclear power plants and the need of gradual replacement of RBMK reactors with VVER-1200 ones. Their commissioning will mean the beginning of new technological era in the nuclear energy industry.

“At the meeting of the specialist committee of the State Duma the wide range of issues was discussed: from the operating NPPs safety provision to the implementation of new power units construction program. And we can’t decide them ourselves”, the Director General of Rosenergoatom Concern JSC Andrey Petrov noted. “Only with joints efforts of Rosatom and legislative bodies we will be able to make steps in order to provide the implementation of the plan on electric energy generation, power units’ modernization and with it provide the required and awaited load on consumers. These are related subjects and I think today we have arrived at a consensus and made those decisions that will be used for adoption of required legislative acts later.”

Another very important topic was the appliance of once-through technical water supply at nuclear power plants. The participants of the meeting noted that 74% of power units of NPPs all around the world use these systems and they are both economically efficient and environmentally acceptable due to the smallest waste of water. However, Article 60 of The Water Code of the RF excludes the design of once-through water supply systems for all types of industrial facilities, including NPPs.

The Deputy Plant Manager of Kola NPP on economy and finances Oleg Popov, “Today I - together with LNPP - have made a report concerning the matters of legislative development in the area of water consumption, as one way or another this influences the nuclear energy

industry in general, the power industry of the RF and the country’s economy. It is pleasant to note that we’ve shared understanding and support in these matters. In this context, I’d like to express gratitude to the Committee on Energy and LNPP for the mutual work aimed at the development of the country’s economy. Rosatom SC is at the forefront of problem solving of once-through coolant system and I think that other industries will be grateful for that. This is a difficult matter, but we find the arguments for work with colleagues from different ministries and I’m sure we’ll be able to solve this problem in the following years.”

In the end of the meeting Pavel Zavalniy noted, “All these and other questions will be reflected in the final document of the visiting meeting – the conclusion of the Committee on Energy where it will be suggested to support the initiative of the Ministry of Energy upon the amendments in the Water Code of the Russian Federation in regard to the repeal of the ban on designing of once-through coolant systems for TPP and NPP, as well as to recommend the Ministry of Energy and Rosatom State Corporation to continue the work on modernization of the PSA operating mechanism in order to reduce the load on final consumer and its further appliance in regard to new power units.”

Leningrad NPP is a branch of Rosenergoatom Concern JSC. The Plant is located at the town of Sosnovy Bor, 40 km west of St. Petersburg on the shore of the Gulf of Finland. LNPP is the first plant in the country with RBMK-1000 reactors (thermal-neutron heat-pipe cooled uranium-graphite nuclear reactors). The NPP operates four power units with an electric capacity of 1,000 MW each. The first unit of replacement capacities with VVER-1200 reactor is at the physical start-up stage, the second VVER-1200 type unit is under construction. Rosenergoatom Concern JSC is the customer-developer of the project, ATOMPROEKT JSC is the general designer, and CONTSERN TITAN-2 JSC is the general contractor. 

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