Department of Commerce, Rosatom sign draft amendment to uranium agreement

The U.S. Department of Commerce and Rosatom on September 12 initialed a draft amendment extend the Agreement Suspending the Antidumping Investigation on Uranium from the Russian Federation, signed in 1992. Rosatom is Russia’s state atomic energy corporation.

Should the amendment receive final approval, it will extend the agreement to 2040.

Leningrad II unit reaches first criticality

Rosatom officials and plant staff celebrate in the control room at Leningrad II-2 as the unit achieves first criticality. Photo: Rosatom

Rosenergoatom, the electric power division of Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned nuclear power corporation, announced on August 31 that Leningrad II-2 has achieved initial criticality. The unit is one of two Generation III+ VVER-1200 pressurized water reactors at the Leningrad nuclear plant.

Leningrad II-2 is scheduled for commercial start early next year, replacing Leningrad I-2, a 925-MWe RBMK-1000 light-water–cooled graphite-moderated reactor that will permanently cease operation at the end of 2020 after 45 years of service. Fuel loading at Leningrad II-2 began in July.

Fuel loading starts at Belarusian NPP

The Belarusian nuclear power plant. Photo: Rosatom

Fuel loading has commenced at Unit 1 of the Belarusian nuclear power plant, according to Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy corporation. The first fuel assembly was loaded into the unit at 11:45 a.m. (local time) on August 7, the company said, adding that a total of 163 assemblies will have been loaded by month’s end.

The plant, Belarus’s only nuclear power facility, houses two 1,109-MWe VVER-1200 pressurized water reactors. Unit 1 is scheduled to begin commercial operation later this year, with a Unit 2 startup slated for 2021.

Hydraulic testing completed on Akkuyu-1 reactor vessel

The Akkuyu-1 reactor pressure vessel. Photo: Atomenergomash

Atommash has completed hydraulic testing of the reactor pressure vessel for Unit 1 at the Akkuyu nuclear power plant, the four-unit facility currently under construction on the Mediterranean coast in southern Turkey. Atommash is part of Atomenergomash, the engineering division of Rosatom, which is Russia’s state atomic energy agency.

Fuel loading begins at Leningrad II-2

Technicians at the Leningrad II-2 plant, where fuel loading recently took place. Photo: Rosenergoatom

The first of 163 nuclear fuel assemblies has been loaded into Leningrad II-2, marking the beginning of the Generation III+ unit’s physical startup, Rosenergoatom announced on July 19.

The electric power division of Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned atomic energy corporation, Rosenergoatom is the operator of all of Russia’s nuclear power plants. The fuel for Leningrad II-2, a 1,085-MWe VVER-1200 pressurized water reactor, was manufactured at the Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant, part of Rosatom subsidiary TVEL.

VVER units planned for Leningrad and Smolensk

Leningrad nuclear plant. Photo: Rosenergoatom

Preparations have begun for the construction of four nuclear reactors in Russia—two VVER-1200 units at the Leningrad plant and two VVER-TOI units near the Smolensk plant, according to Rosenergoatom, a division of Russia’s state-owned atomic energy corporation Rosatom.

Rosenergoatom operates all of Russia’s nuclear power facilities. Authorization to move forward with the new-build projects was signed by Alexey Likhachev, Rosatom’s director general.

Rosatom, Framatome, and GE partner on proposed Bulgarian nuclear plant

Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned atomic energy corporation, announced on June 18 that it has teamed up with France’s Framatome and General Electric’s GE Steam Power to participate in a tender to construct the Belene nuclear plant in northern Bulgaria. The Belene project would involve the construction of two AES-92 units, similar to the reactors that Rosatom supplied to India.

Russia lays keel for nuclear-powered icebreaker

Rendering of a Russian Project 22220 icebreaker. Image: Hanko/Wikimedia Commons

The keel for Rosatomflot’s Yakutia, the third Project 22220 nuclear-powered icebreaker, was laid at the United Shipbuilding Corporation’s Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg on May 26, according to a press release from Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned atomic energy corporation. Rosatomflot is a subsidiary of Rosatom.