Novovoronezh - Unit No. 2 at the Novovoronezh Nuclear Power Plant II, equipped with the VVER-1200 reactor has been brought to minimum controlled power (MCP), Russian builder and designer Rosatom has said.
Minimum control power level is reached when neutron flux is recorded in a reactor working at a level sufficient to sustain a fission chain reaction.
Fuel loading began for the plant on 19 February. The VVER-1200 is the latest of Rosatom’s Generation III+ PWR-type reactor and the world’s only Generation III+ design in series construction. Unit No. 2 at the Novovoronezh-2 NPP is the third in the new series of plants following Novovoronezh II Unit 1, launched in 2016, and Leningrad-2 Unit 1, launched in 2017.
The VVER-1200 reactor can operate with 30 percent to 40 percent fewer operational personnel compared with its predecessor, while producing 20 percent more power.
Reaching MCP is considered as the final stage of the physical start-up procedure. Every stage has occurred on schedule and in compliance with all the safety regulations, Rosatom said.
Specialists will conduct a set of physical experiments on the neutronic characteristics of the reactor’s first fuel charge, as well as confirm the operational reliability of the reactor’s entire monitoring and safety systems. The physical start-up will be completed at Unit 2, following these tests.
The power unit will then be prepared for power start-up and connection to the grid - both planned for the end of 2019. The launch of the reactor will bring the share of nuclear in the Central Russia’s electricity grid to 27 percent. Rosatom estimates the Russian nuclear fleet prevents the potential emissions of 4 million metric tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere each year.
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