At the end of last week an automatic emergency shut-down of the second reactor occurred at Kursk nuclear power plant (KNPP). The reason to the incident was made public after an expert group finished its preliminary on-site investigation on September 8. The group claimed that a short circuit in one of the turbines led to the development of smoke. As a consequence, the automatic emergency systems initiated the second reactor’s shut-down procedure. The reactor will not be put back in operation until all the details are cleared up.
Kursk NPP operates on four RBMK-type reactors. This reactor design was made infamous by the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. The construction of a fifth reactor unit started in the second part of the eighties, but it is still only 65% complete. Recent statements from Minatom indicates that the new unit will be completed within a few years.