New reactor unit design to be finished in 2007

Publish date: June 14, 2005

The Russian Rosenergoatom concern is planning to finish the design of the new generation reactor unit VVER-1500 in 2007.

The first unit of this type should be constructed at the Leningrad nuclear power plant in Sosnovy Bor near St Petersburg,. The new unit will be about 20% more expensive than the ordinary VVER-1000 unit, while the cost of one kWh is 25-30% less, said the Rosenergoatom general director Sergey Antipov to Interfax.

According to the Leningrad plant’s general director Valery Lebedev, the new generation power unit can be put in operation by 2017, as the lifetime of the first reactor unit is expired in 2018. The Russian nuclear ministry decided to speed up the development of the VVER-1500 in January 2004 due to the current situation when many reactors have to be shut down in the nearest ten years, and the capacity may be reduced by 30,000 MW. It is expected that the new units will substitute the retired reactors and increase electricity generation in Russia. Besides, the new unit could be also exported, in particular, to China.