The Leningrad NPP: the equipment of the block and the backup control units of the 2nd VVER-1200 power block are ready for liquid release

The installation and startup works at the automatic process control system equipment of the block and the backup control units of the 2nd VVER-1200 power block at the Leningrad NPP have been completed, which was a pre-requisite for the safety systems liquid release over the open reactor. During this key operation scheduled for May 2019, the team will verify all elements of the reactor facility and carry out the post-installation cleansing of the pipelines connecting those elements.

‘Complex trials have confirmed that the technical means for power block operational dispatch management are working. They are good to go at the individual equipment and technological systems trial stage and during the operation. Everything is going to work in a reliable and efficient manner, including but not limited to the liquid release stage’, Alexander Rudnik, the Deputy Chief Engineer of the Leningrad NPP-2 responsible for electric machinery, said.

According to Dmitry Marygin, a thermal instrumentation & control shop section manager at the Leningrad NPP-2, the block control unit will be used during the liquid release: that’s were the operating staff of the NPP will be based to manage the power block’s systems remotely. This is where all the necessary information from the local sensors on the reactor facility equipment and liquid release-powering system state goes. In a hypothetical emergency event, the backup control unit can be utilized.

Konstantin Zelevskiy, the Deputy Chief Engineer of the Kalininatomtechenergo affiliate and the technical manager of the installation and startup works, said that the automatic process control system of the power block under construction was being launched operational in stages. Its main subsystems have to be ready in October-November 2019, by the time the water tests and the circulation cleaning of the reactor facility’s primary circuit start, and before fresh nuclear fuel is delivered to the site. The top-notch control system that takes the best of human operator’s capabilities and automatic systems facilitates all the necessary pre-conditions for safe operation of a power block.

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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