The WANO technical support mission has been completed at the Leningrad NPP-2 2nd power block under construction

The experts from the Moscow Office of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO-MO) have conducted a technical support mission at the innovative VVER-1200 2nd power block of the Leningrad NPP-2.

The representatives of the independent international organizations supervised the operations of each shift practicing different operational modes of the VVER-1200 power block at a full-scale simulator, reviewed the project and the technological documentation, and interview the operating staff.

Alexey Tararin, deputy chief engineer of the Leningrad NPP-2 in charge of engineering support services and quality: ‘Each new block has to undergo several checks, following which we can evaluate if it’s ready for launch. The final partnership pre-launch verification is held prior to the block’s physical start-up. In order to see if our power block is fully good to go with this important milestones, we have invited a number of Russian and foreign experts. They will deliver their recommendations on administration, operation, fire safety, staff training and the world’s best practices in using the operational experience. These activities are of utmost importance for us, and the recommendations we get will help us complete our preparations for the physical start-up’.

Andrey Nosov, the head of the WANO-MO technical support mission program: ‘The technical support mission is an evaluation of the power block’s operational availability. To prepare a new power block for safe operation and the partnership pre-launch verification, which is scheduled for 2020, the Leningrad NPP has defined five areas where our experts are putting together their suggestions. The final deliverable from our expert team will be a report summarizing our recommendations to the Leningrad NPP. The main goal of the technical support mission is to help our colleagues with our recommendations on how to improve particular aspects of their work’.

The experts believe that the work carried out by the Leningrad NPP specialists both in the context of the technical support mission at the power block under construction and the partnership pre-launch verification will foster further advancement of the operational safety at the new power plant.


Compared to the traditional VVER-1000 power blocks, the design for the 3+ generation Leningrad NPP power block boasts a number of improvements that improve its economic parameters and safety. For instance, the electric capacity of the reactor assembly is increased by 20%, from 1000 to 1200 megawatt; the core equipment lifetime is doubled from 30 to 60 years. At the same time, the power block adheres to the cutting-edge global industry standards with regard to nuclear safety.

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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