Russia’s latest nuclear power reactor, Rostov 4, reached criticality and minimum controlled power on 29 December. It is Russia’s 36th reactor in a fleet that meets about 18% of the country’s electricity demand.
With the integrity and function of all operation and safety systems already verified, the unit is now in the final stage of commissioning. What follows are measurements of the neutron-physical characteristics of the reactor core to confirm compliance with design parameters and a full testing programme of the reactor control and protection systems. It will supply some electricity to the grid during these tests.
Once those are complete and the reactor is proven it will progress to commercial operation and be handed over to its owners Rosenergoatom for routine power generation on a 24/7 basis.
The Rostov plant is located on the banks of the Tsimlyansk reservoir, nearly 14 km (8 miles) from the city of Volgodonsk. Four 1000 MWe VVER pressurized water reactors have been planned at the Rostov site since the early 1980s. Construction of units 1 and 2 began promptly, but progress faltered. Units 1 and 2 eventually entered commercial operation in March 2001 and October 2010, respectively. Unit 3 was connected to the grid in December 2014.
Source: World Nuclear News