The Leningrad NPP-2 2nd VVER-1200 power block’s control room was used for the first time to switch the equipment on

A major operation has been completed at the Leningrad NPP-2 2nd VVER-1200 power block under construction: using the block’s control room, the first unit of the reactor hall equipment was tested as the heat carrier storage system pump electric motor was idled. The operating team at the Leningrad NPP-2 checked the electric motor twice: from a reactor control engineer’s work place and from the tile control panels. The operation was conducted using designed energy supplies and standard automated control and process management systems.

According to Pavel Tikhonov, the operation lead and a shift leader of the plant’s power block, the first mechanism switch from the power block’s control room was a success: ‘We have verified that the equipment under trial was assembled and commissioned properly, and that the automated control system operate as needed. The electric motor is functional, its thermal and vibratory conditions are fine. The electric parameters of the equipment were confirmed, too. Now we can connect it to the circulating pump to then verify the whole set under load’.

Mikhail Kilin, a shift leader at the Leningrad NPP reactor hall, explained that the pump under trial would drive the heat carrier into the reactor assembly’s primary circuit when the power block is under operation.

‘Today, we have checked the main pump. What we need to do next is to verify the backup pump. This equipment will be used for all key operations during the individual checks and trials of the power block’s technological systems, including but not limited to the liquid release over the open reactor’, Mikhail Kilin added.

The liquid release is scheduled for early May, and this operation will take the whole month. During that, the team will test all the equipment comprising the reactor facility and perform the post-assembly pipelines cleaning from mechanical impurities (sand, dust, slack coal, etc.)

The Leningrad NPP is the country’s first plant with RBMK-1000 reactors (uranium-graphite circuit-type reactor running on thermal neutrons). The decision that marked its construction was taken in September 1966 by a resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the USSR and the Council of Ministers No. 800-252. According to that document, the Leningrad NPP was supposed to become a core in a network of nuclear power plants with RBMK-1000 reactors that were supposed to produce a substantial share of electric power. The construction of the Leningrad NPP was going well, and by 1973 the first power block was fully erected. On December 23, 1973, following stable 72-hours’ operation at the capacity of 150 megawatt, the State Commission signed the acceptance certificate stating that the first power block of the Leningrad nuclear power plant is commissioned for pilot production. 

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