Experts of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) Moscow Centre have completed a pre-start-up peer review of the Leningrad NPP-2 Unit 2.

The purpose of review was to assess the readiness of the unit for safe start-up and further operation. Peer reviews are conducted at operating nuclear power plants once every four years, including at the start-up stage.

During the inspection at the Leningrad NPP, the team of international experts verified the operational, fire and emergency readiness of the power unit, as well as the level of safety culture among the plant’s personnel. These areas are of great importance in ensuring the reliability and safety of a nuclear facility throughout the entire period of its operation, and especially at the stage when the enterprise finishes construction and begins operation. The performed review became an additional tool in increasing the safety of the future NPP.

Hossein Ghaffari, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran’s office in Russia, said, “This is a pre-launch check, and our task has been to help the Leningrad NPP personnel to fully prepare for this important event. As an industry advisor, I took part in walkdowns of the unit’s control room and turbine hall, before that my colleagues checked the equipment and facilities that are of prime importance for the power unit start-up. The results of these inspections confirm that the unit is ready to begin full-scale commissioning operations. The quality of the documentation and the level of personnel training here is rather high. The Leningrad NPP project confirms that the increased safety requirements that are now imposed on the power units under construction have been fully implemented here.”

The commissioning of Unit 2 with VVER-1200 reactor is carried out in stages and was started on July 19, 2020 with physical start-up when the first fuel assembly with fresh nuclear fuel was loaded into the reactor vessel. At later stages, during the power start-up, pilot operation and comprehensive testing of the unit, all systems will undergo final inspections. The unit is scheduled to be put into commercial operation in 2021. The new unit will replace the NPP’s unit with the RBMK-1000 reactor, which has been in operation for 45 years.