Ground preparations for the Baltic nuclear power plant in Russia's Kaliningrad exclave are seen well underway, ahead of a planned date in April 2011 for first concrete.

The twin VVER pressurized water reactor power plant will supply about 2400 MWe and go a long way to replace nuclear generation capacity lost in the region after the shutdown of two large reactors at Ignalina in neighbouring Lithuania.

In the past, about 40% of Kaliningrad's electricity came from Ignalina but the new plant will provide enough to support the region as well as surplus for export to Poland and Germany.

Lithuania plans to build a replacement nuclear power plant, Visaginas, at a site alongside Ignalina. This could feature one or two large reactors with investment from other Baltic States, Estonia and Latvia. Lithuania could also take a stake in the Baltic plant, some 49% of which is available to private investors in a first for Russia's Rosatom. The first reactor should come online in mid-2016 with the second unit following in 2018.

Source: World Nuclear News