19.02.2019  Communications Department of Rosenergoatom

Rosenergoatom: the physical start-up of the innovative 3+ generation power block No.2 has been initiated at the Novovoronezh NPP-2

On February 19, 2018, the team of the Novovoronezh NPP2 (city of Novovoronezh, the Voronezh Region, an affiliate company of the Rosenergoatom Joint-Stock Company, a part of the Rosatom State Corporation Electric Power Division, general designer – SC Atomenergoproject, general contractor - JSC EC "ASE", the engineering division of the Rosatom State Corporation) initiated the physical start-up of the innovative 3+ generation VVER-1200 power block No.2 (power block No.7 of the Novovoronezh NPP) fully in line with the schedule.

At 4.10 PM (GMT+3), the first fuel assembly containing fresh nuclear fuel was uploaded into the reactor core. Before that, the company obtained the License for Power Block Operation issued by the Federal Service for Ecological, Technological and Nuclear Supervision (Rostekhnadzor). All 163 fuel assemblies are planned to be uploaded into the reactor core of the Novovoronezh NPP-2 power block within the next five days.

The physical start-up is one of the key stages of a power block’s operational commissioning, the main goal of which is to verify that the power block to be launched operational is going to function in a reliable and safe manner at the designed performance level for the entire duration of operation.

At that stage, the reactor core specifications required for the reactor operation are set. The team will have a lot of work to do to complete the reactor assembly, facilitate its bootstrapping, take the reactor to the critical condition (to record the first self-sustained chain reaction) and conduct the trials required to confirm the fuel column designated parameters.

The 2nd power block of the Novovoronezh NPP-2 is the third one in a series of blocks of such type that were built in Russia. The first power block of such type – the power block No.1 of the Novovoronezh NPP-2 (power block No.6 of the Novovoronezh NPP) – was launched in 2016, and its output as of today has reached the point of 16.841 billion kilowatt-hours since its first production. The second one was launched at the Leningrad NPP-2 in 2017.

Compared to the previous-generation VVER-1000 power blocks, the 3+ generation ones boast higher technical and economic parameters. The capacity of the reactor facility has been increased by 20%, with the number of staff decreased by 30-40%. The durability of the core equipment has doubled and has reached the point of 60 years with a prolongation option for another 20 years.

Andrey Petrov, the CEO of the Rosenergoatom Joint-Stock Company and the First Vice-President of Construction at JSC EC "ASE": ‘The launch of the physical start-up operations, in fact, indicates that all works related to the construction of the 2nd power block of the Novovoronezh NPP-2 have been completed. All further activities will be about preparing the power block for the power start-up and the first electric power production. By the end of this year, the 2nd power block of the Novovoronezh NPP-2 is planned to be commissioned’.

The initiation of the physical start-up of the Novovoronezh NPP-2 2nd power block means that the Rosatom State Corporation is actively involved in the construction of 3rd generation power blocks. This is the second power block of such kind at this site and the third one in Russia among those that we start up. Countries like Finland, Hungary, Bangladesh, Belarus and others have opted for this technology. In general, the Rosatom’s international portfolio covers 35 VVER power blocks in 12 countries.


The innovative 3+ generation power blocks boast higher technical and economic performance and cater for absolute operational safety. They take advantage of the latest innovations and development achievements. The main feature of a VVER-1200 reactor is a unique combination of active and passive safety systems that make an NPP as resilient against any external and internal impact as possible. What’s typical for the passive safety systems is that they can run even if the electric supply is off and if there is no operator. The VVER-1200 power blocks use the following facilities: a ‘melt trap’ – a device that localizes a core melt in a reactor; an afterheat removal passive system designed to facilitate long-term thermal discharge from the reactor core in case all electric power supply sources are down, etc.

Novovoronezh NPP is a branch of Rosenergoatom JSC (a part of the largest Division of Rosatom State Corporation – Electric Power Division). The Plant is situated on the River Don bank 42 km South of Voronezh. This is the first NPP of Russia with VVER type reactors (Water-Water Power Reactors of containment type with water under pressure). Three reactors of the Plant are the main ones – the prototypes of the serial power reactors. The first power unit was commissioned in 1964, the second one - in 1969, the third one – in 1971, the fourth one – in 1972, and the fifth one – in 1980.

The power units No 1 and No 2 were shut down in 1984 and 1990, respectively. The power unit No 3 was shut down in 2016 for the decommissioning events. The power unit No 4 was shut down for modernization works. The power unit No 1 of Novovoronezh NPP-2 was commissioned on 27 February, 2017. The power unit No 2 is in the stage of commissioning works.

The latest information about radiation situation near Russian NPPS and other nuclear power facilities can be seen at www.russianatom.ru

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