The nuclear fuel loading into the innovative 2nd power block reactor has been completed at the Novovoronezh NPP-2

The nuclear fuel loading into the core of the VVER-1200 type reactor has been completed at the Novovoronezh NPP-2 as a part of the program for the innovative 2nd power block physical start-up. The NPP staff has completed all the works in accordance with the nuclear facility operation license issued by Rostekhnadzor.

February 19, 16:10 the first fuel magazine loaded – marking the beginning of the physical start-up.

February 24, 13:19 (GMT+3) the process of the nuclear fuel loading into the reactor core is fully completed.

‘We were absolutely confident that the nuclear fuel loading into the reactor core will go smoothly because we already had experience in this activity at the 1st VVER-1200 type reactor. We have conducted a preliminary training load using dummy assembly’, Vladimir Povarov, the Director of the Novovoronezh NPP, said.

All further activities will be related to obtaining a Rostekhnadzor license for all further physical start-up stages: the reactor assembly, the connection of the main circulation pumps to switch the reactor facility to hot position and the completion of a set of trials at the minimum controllable power level. This will mark the end of the physical start-up and the transition to the power start-up stage


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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