The reactor no.2 at Kursk nuclear power plant, 450 km south of Moscow, was shut down automatically on January 14 because of leaks in the compressed air system, the Emergency Situations Ministry reported.
This is the reactor’s second shut down in the past six months. Similar incident occurred in the beginning of September 1997.
Kursk NPP is operating four RBMK-1000 reactors, commissioned in 1976, 1978, 1983 and 1985. The two oldest reactors are to be shut down by 2006 and 2008. The fifth unit with RBMK- type reactor is under construction, some 70% of completion.
Despite of the strong safety critics of RBMK-type (Chernobyl type) reactors, the Atomic Minister of Russia Victor Michailov claimed at his press-conference on June 23 that the fifth unit of Kursk NPP is to be completed within few years. Minister’s intentions were confirmed by Rosenergoatom concern, which has recently stated that the investment emphasis in 1998 will rest on the Rostov and Kursk Nuclear Power Plants.