Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant

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Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant
RIAN archive 305005 Leningrad nuclear power plant.jpg
Site of the Nuclear Power Plant Leningrad, including the construction site of the Nuclear Power Plant Leningrad II.
LocationSosnovy Bor, Leningrad Oblast
Coordinates59°50′50″N 29°02′37″E / 59.84722°N 29.04361°E / 59.84722; 29.04361Coordinates: 59°50′50″N 29°02′37″E / 59.84722°N 29.04361°E / 59.84722; 29.04361
Construction began1 March 1970 (Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant I)
25 October 2008 (Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant II)
Commission date1 November 1974 (Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant I)
Unit II-1: 29 October 2018
Decommission date21 December 2018 (Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant I Unit 1), 10 November 2020 (Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant I Unit 2)
Nuclear power station
Reactor typeRBMK-1000 (Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant I)
VVER-1200/V491 (AES-2006) (Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant II)
Reactor supplierAtomstroyexport
Power generation
Units operational2 × 925 MW
1 × 1085 MW
Units planned2 × 1085 MW
Units under const.1 × 1085 MW
Units decommissioned2 × 925 MW
Nameplate capacity2935 MW
Capacity factor60.5%
Annual net output21,208 GW·h
External links
CommonsRelated media on Commons

Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant (Russian: Ленинградская атомная электростанция; Ленинградская АЭС Leningradskaya atomnaya elektrostantsiya; Leningradskaya AES (About this soundpronunciation )) is a nuclear power plant located in the town of Sosnovy Bor in Russia's Leningrad Oblast, on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland, some 70 kilometres (43 mi) to the west of the city centre of Saint Petersburg.

As of 2021, the plant has four nuclear reactors of the RBMK-1000 type, of which unit one and two have been shut down. These reactors are similar to reactors No. 1 and 2 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

Plans are underway to replace the RBMK reactors with four new reactors of the VVER-1200 type, with the plant identification "Leningrad II". On 25 October 2008, Saint Petersburg Atomenergoproekt began concreting the foundation plate of the reactor building of the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant II, Unit 1. The cost of the project was estimated at almost 70 billion Russian rubles (about $3 billion US dollars at the time).[1][2] A construction licence was issued on 22 July 2009.[3] In October 2018, Leningrad II-1 started commercial operation, and Leningrad II-2 was scheduled for the start of commercial operation in 2021. Leningrad II-3 and II-4 are planned, but construction has not yet started.

In December 2019, Leningrad II-1 was integrated into the district heating system of Sosnovy Bor and the local industrial park, replacing the heating capacity of the closed RBMK-1000 units. The thermal output is 3200 MW.[4]

From May 2012 to December 2013, Unit 1 was offline while repairs were made related to some deformed graphite moderator blocks.[5]

Reactor data[edit]

Unit[6] Reactor type Net capacity
Gross capacity
Shutdown Cleared out
Leningrad - 1 RBMK-1000 925 1000 1970-03-01 1973-12-21 1974-11-01 2018-12-21 (2023)
Leningrad - 2 RBMK-1000 925 1000 1970-06-01 1975-07-11 1976-02-11 2020-11-10 -
Leningrad - 3 RBMK-1000 925 1000 1973-12-01 1979-12-07 1980-06-29 2025-01-31 -
Leningrad - 4 RBMK-1000 925 1000 1975-02-01 1981-02-09 1981-08-29 2026-12-26 -
Leningrad II - 1 VVER-1200/491 (AES-2006) 1085 1187 2008-10-25 2018-03-09[7] 2018-10-29 2078 -
Leningrad II - 2 VVER-1200/491 (AES-2006) 1085 1199 2010-04-15[8] 2020-10-26[9] 2021-03-22[10] - -
Leningrad II - 3 VVER-1200/491 (AES-2006) 1085 1199 (Planned)[11] ? ? ? -
Leningrad II - 4 VVER-1200/491 (AES-2006) 1085 1199 (Planned)[12] ? ? ? -

Incidents and accidents[edit]

Fuel-handling assembly at Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant

The first accident at the plant occurred shortly after the first unit came online. On 7 January 1975, a concrete tank containing radioactive gases from Unit 1 exploded; there were no reported accident victims or radiation releases.[13][14]

Less than a month later, on 6 February 1975, the secondary cooling circuit of Unit 1 ruptured, releasing contaminated water into the environment. Three people were killed, and the accident was not reported in the media.[13][14]

On 28 November 1975, a fuel channel in Unit 1 suffered a loss of coolant, resulting in the degradation of a nuclear fuel assembly that led to a significant release of radiation lasting for one month. Immediately after the accident, the radiation level in Sosnovy Bor, 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from the affected power unit, was 600 mR/h; in total, 1.5 MCi was released into the environment.[15] The exposed inhabitants of the Baltic region were not notified of the danger. The accident was not reported in the media. Practically the same accident occurred in Unit 1 of the Chernobyl Power Station in 1982[13][14][16]

In July 1976 and again in September 1979, due to a poor safety culture, a fire broke out in a concrete vault containing radioactive waste. Water used in extinguishing the fires was contaminated, leaked into the environment, and entered the water table. This was not reported in the media.[16][14]

On 28 December 1990, during refurbishment of Unit 1, it was noticed that the space between the fuel channels and the graphite stack (contaminated during the 1975 accident) had widened. The contaminated graphite was spilled, and the radiation levels in the space under the reactor increased. Radiation was detected 6 km away from the unit, but this was not reported in the media.[16][14]

On 3 December 1991, due to faulty equipment and lax safety rule compliance, 10 new fuel rods were dropped and damaged. The staff tried to conceal the accident from the plant's management.[14]

In March 1992, an accident at the plant leaked radioactive gases and iodine into the air through a ruptured fuel channel. This was the first accident at the station that was announced in the media.[17]

On 27 August 2009, the third unit was stopped when a hole was found in the discharge header of a pump.[18] According to the automated radiation control system, the radiation situation at the plant and in its 30-kilometre (19 mi) monitoring zone was normal.[18] The plant's management refuted rumors of an accident and stated that the third unit was stopped for a "short-term unscheduled maintenance", with a restart scheduled for 31 August 2009.[19]

On 19 December 2015, unit 2 was stopped (scrammed) due to a broken steam pipe. No radioactively contaminated material was released.[citation needed]

On 21 December 2018, the first unit of Leningrad NPP was shut down for decommissioning. The full unloading of the nuclear fuel from within the unit is planned to take until 2023.[20]

Electricity generation[edit]

Production of Leningrad Units 1-4, 1974-2017 (TWh/year)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Leningrad NPP-2: Concreting of the foundation plate of the reactor building of the 1st unit started; 27 October 2008[permanent dead link]:
  2. ^ Construction starts at Leningrad II; 27 October 2008:
  3. ^ "Go-ahead for second Leningrad II unit". World Nuclear News. 22 July 2009. Retrieved 26 July 2009. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Leningrad II plant begins providing district heating". World Nuclear News. 2 December 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  5. ^ "Restored RBMK back on line". World Nuclear News. 2 December 2013. Retrieved 3 December 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ Power Reactor Information System of the IAEA: "Russian Federation: Nuclear Power Reactors" Archived 26 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Leningrad II-1 starts pilot operation". World Nuclear News. 9 March 2018. Retrieved 10 March 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Power Reactor Details Leningrad II-2 on the PRIS of the IAEA Archived 28 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Grid connection for Leningrad-II 2". Nuclear Engineering International. 26 October 2020. Retrieved 26 October 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "Leningrad II-2 enters commercial operation". World Nuclear News. Retrieved 22 March 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ Power Reactor Details Leningrad II-3 on the PRIS of the IAEA[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ Power Reactor Details Leningrad II-4 on the PRIS of the IAEA[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ a b c Nuclear Encyclopedia, chief editor A. A. Yaroshinskaya. - Moscow: the Charity Fund of Yaroshinskaya, 1996. - 656p.
  14. ^ a b c d e f V. M. Kuznetsov, Russian Nuclear Power Engineering Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow. Opinion of independent expert. - Moscow: National press institute, 2000. - 288 p.
  15. ^ Controlling Technology By Stephen H. Unger, p. 88.
  16. ^ a b c V. A. Melnikov, N. B. Malevannaya, Radiological Safety During the Operation of Nuclear Complex in Sosnovy Bor. - presentation at the international conference ENERGY. ECOLOGY. SAFETY, 25–27 May 1999, Sosnovy Bor.
  17. ^ Nuclear Energy Institute, Source Book: Soviet-Designed Nuclear Power Plants in Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Armenia, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Hungary and Bulgaria Archived 11 December 2012 at the Library of Congress Web Archives, 5th edition, 1997, p. 141.
  18. ^ a b The third unit of Leningrad NPP has been stopped[permanent dead link], Rosenergoatom, 28 August 2009
  19. ^ Leningrad NPP refutes rumors about accident[permanent dead link], Rosenergoatom, 28 August 2009
  20. ^ "Russia shuts down Soviet-built nuclear reactor - The Washington Times". washingtontimes.com.

External links[edit]