Using a VVER-1200 reactor for Leningrad II Unit 1 has resulted in a nearly 15 percent reduction in cooling water usage at the Leningrad nuclear power plant, according to Rosatom, Russia’s state atomic energy corporation. “The design features of the new power units can significantly reduce the amount of water consumed by a nuclear power plant from natural reservoirs,” said Vladimir Pereguda, director of the plant. He credited the replacing of RBMK-1000 units with VVER-1200 ones for a decrease of 730.7 million cubic meters of seawater withdrawn from Kopory Bay, a 14.8 percent drop in 2019 compared to 2018. Kopory Bay is located in the southern part of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. “We will continue to observe such indicators to reduce the environmental impact, since the Leningrad [plant] is gradually replacing RBMK-1000 units with VVER-1200 units,” Pereguda added.
From the bay, water is sent to turbine condensers to cool the steam. In the case of an RBMK, this water returns directly to the reservoir. In the VVER version, however, after performing its cooling function, water is supplied from above to the evaporative cooling towers and falls inside the towers into a special bowl. The cooled water is then sent to the condensers again. Rosatom said the plant operators strictly monitor the limits of water consumption and sanitation as well as control harmful chemicals in the water. Alexandra Tkacheva, head of Leningrad’s environmental department, said all limits and indicators for the content of harmful chemicals complied with standards, as did the temperature of the water discharged by the plant in 2019.
Leningrad II-1 was connected to the grid for the first time on March 9, 2018 (NN, Oct. 2018, p. 68). Commercial operations began in October of that year.
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