The physical start-up phase was started on 6 December, with the loading of nuclear fuel into the reactor. Within five days, all 163 fuel assemblies had been installed and on 29 December the unit was brought to the minimal controlled power level. Start-up of the reactor is expected "in the near future", Rosatom said.
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.
The launch of unit 4, another VVER-1000 reactor, will "ensure sustainable electricity supply to the entire southern region of Russia", Rosatom said. The Rostov region will thus become one of the 'top ten' regions in the country in terms of nuclear power generation, it added. Currently, the plant meets about half of power demand in the region.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News