Kola Nuclear Power Plant

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Kola Nuclear Power Plant
RIAN archive 146342 Kola nuclear power plant.jpg
Kola Nuclear Power Plant
Country Russia
Location near Polyarnye Zori, Murmansk Oblast
Coordinates 67°28′N 32°28′E / 67.467°N 32.467°E / 67.467; 32.467Coordinates: 67°28′N 32°28′E / 67.467°N 32.467°E / 67.467; 32.467
Status Operational
Construction began 1970
Commission date 28 December 1973
Operator(s) Energoatom
Nuclear power station
Reactor type VVER
Power generation
Units operational 4 × 440 MW
Nameplate capacity 1,760 MW
Capacity factor 63.9%
Annual output 9,846 GW·h

The Kola Nuclear Power Plant (Russian: Кольская АЭС [About this sound pronunciation ]), also known as Kolsk NPP or Kolskaya NPP, is a nuclear power plant located 12 km away from Polyarnye Zori, Murmansk Oblast in north-western Russia.


Turbine Hall at the Kola Nuclear Power Plant
Reactor Unit 1 at the Kola Nuclear Power Plant

The Phase 1 (No. 1 and 2 reactors) at the Kola NPP went online in 1973 and 1974, respectively, and are part of Russia’s first generation of PWR reactors (the VVER 440/230 type). The Phase 2 (No. 3 and 4 reactors) went online in 1981 and 1984 with the improved VVER 440/213 type.

Phase 1 reactors were designed to work for 30 years and were originally slated to be shut down in 2003 and 2004. However the shutdown did not happen. Instead, the operational life spans of the reactors were extended, after a massive safety upgrade effort that included about 200 safety systems upgrade projects[1] and was financed in part by the governments of Norway, Sweden, Finland and USA.[2][3]


Kola NPP produces about half of Murmansk Oblast's energy. It is of a type similar reactor to Finland's Loviisa Nuclear Power Plant, which conforms to regulatory requirements commonly considered to be the most stringent in the world.

Reactor data[edit]

The Kola Nuclear Power Plant has four units:

Unit[4] Reactor type Net
Kola-1 VVER-440/230 411 MW 440 MW 1969-05-18 1973-06-29 1973-12-28 2018
Kola-2 VVER-440/230 411 MW 440 MW 1969-05-15 1974-12-08 1975-02-21 2019
Kola-3 VVER-440/213 411 MW 440 MW 1977-04-01 1981-03-24 1982-12-03 2026[5]
Kola-4 VVER-440/213 411 MW 440 MW 1976-08-01 1984-10-11 1984-12-06 2029[5]

Campaign to close the station[edit]

Мурманская обл. Кольская АЭС Сбросной кананал.2008-22.jpg

Several environment movement groups such as the ecologists from Norway and Russia support media campaign to close Kola NPP citing safety concerns with Phase 1 reactors and alleged violations of Russian law during issue of operating permit extensions.

The license for phase 1 reactors five-year operation extensions, granted by the Russian Federation's civilian nuclear regulator Gosatomnadzor (FSETAN’s predecessor), were issued without conducting an obligatory state environmental impact study. Conducting such federal level studies is mandated by the law "On Environmental Impact Studies" in Article 11.

The first extension for the old reactors was issued in summer 2003, almost precisely after former Deputy Minister of Atomic Energy Andrei Malyshev was installed as Gosatomnadzor’s chief. He replaced Yury Vishnevsky at this post. Vishnevsky had been an outspoken critic of the former Ministry of Atomic Energy, now known as the Federal Agency for Atomic energy, or Rosatom.

In April 2005, the Murmansk Regional Prosecutor issued a recommendation to resolve the violations surrounding the reactor life-span extensions and force regulatory bodies and Rosenergoatom, Russian's nuclear power plant operations conglomerate, to carry out the environmental impact studies. But none of this took place.

The Murmansk Prosecutors again ordered the state structures to fulfill the earlier order, but was again unsuccessful. Norway's Nature and Youth and Norway-based Bellona’s "Environment and Rights" magazine first drew the attention of prosecutors to the illegality of prolonging the life-spans of the reactors in 2004.

Rostekhnadzor subsequently issued a license for the fifteen year life extension of Unit 1 in June 2008, after further reviews, inspections and upgrade work.[6]

Future developments[edit]

In 2016 initial plans were announced to build the first VVER-600 at Kola by 2030. The VVER-600 will be a smaller two cooling circuit version of the current VVER-1200, designed for smaller regions and markets.[7][8]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]