Unit 1 of the Leningrad Phase II nuclear power plant has entered the power start-up phase, following Russian regulator Rostechnadzor's approval to do so, state nuclear corporation Rosatom announced yesterday. Power start-up entails bringing the unit to 50% of its power generation capacity in preparation for commercial operation.
The VVER-1200 reactor entered the physical start-up stage - being brought to the minimum controllable power level - on 6 February and this process was completed ten days later.
The assembly of the reactor vessel for the unit, which is in Sosnovy Bor in western Russia, was completed in early January.
"When the reactor capacity reaches about 35% of its nominal level, it becomes possible to include the turbogenerator for the first time," Rosatom said, adding that only from that level can the steam generators produce enough steam to start the turbine and ensure its normal operation.
Alexander Belyaev, chief engineer of Leningrad NPP said the gradual power start-up phases are designed to ensure the reliability and safety of equipment and technological systems.
"Only after that will the unit be synchronised with the national grid and start supplying the first kilowatt-hours to it," he said.
Director of the Leningrad plant, Vladimir Pereguda, added that obtaining Rostekhnadzor's approval means that all the work necessary for physical start-up had been completed successfully, and that no changes to operational documentation had been needed.