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Obninsk Nuclear Power Plant

Coordinates: 55°05′02″N 36°34′17″E / 55.08389°N 36.57139°E / 55.08389; 36.57139
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Obninsk Nuclear Power Plant
Obninsk Nuclear Power Plant Museum
LocationObninsk, Kaluga Oblast
Coordinates55°05′02″N 36°34′17″E / 55.08389°N 36.57139°E / 55.08389; 36.57139
Construction began1 January 1951
Commission date26 June 1954
Decommission date29 April 2002
Nuclear power station
Reactor typeRBMK forerunner
Power generation
Units decommissioned1 × 5 MW
Nameplate capacity5 MW
External links
CommonsRelated media on Commons

Obninsk Nuclear Power Plant (Russian: Обнинская АЭС, romanizedObninskaja AES; pronunciation) was built in the "Science City" of Obninsk,[1] Kaluga Oblast, about 110 km (68 mi) southwest of Moscow, Soviet Union. Connected to the power grid in June 1954, Obninsk was the first grid-connected nuclear power plant in the world,[2] i.e. the first nuclear reactor that produced electricity industrially,[3] albeit at small scale.[4] It was located at the Institute of Physics and Power Engineering.[5] The plant is also known as APS-1 Obninsk (Atomic Power Station 1 Obninsk). It remained in operation between 1954 and 2002. Its production of electricity for the grid ceased in 2002; thereafter it functioned as a research and isotope production plant only.[6]

According to Lev Kotchetkov, who was there at the time: "Although utilisation of generated heat was going on, and production of isotopes was even enhanced, the main task was to carry out experimental studies on 17 test loops installed in the reactor."[1] The technology perfected in the Obninsk pilot plant[7] was later employed on a much larger scale in the RBMK reactors.[3]


The single reactor unit at the plant, AM-1 ("Атом Мирный", Atom Mirny, Russian for "Peaceful Atom"), had a total electrical capacity of 6 MW and a net capacity of around 5 MWe. Thermal output was 30 MW. It was a prototype design using a graphite moderator and water coolant. This reactor was a forerunner of the RBMK reactors.[citation needed]

The Obninsk reactor used 5% enriched uranium; this percentage would be lowered for subsequent reactors.[8]


Construction started on 31 December 1950. First criticality was achieved on 6 May 1954, and the first grid connection was made on 27 June 1954.[9][10] For around four years, until the opening of the Siberian Nuclear Power Station, Obninsk remained the only nuclear power reactor in the Soviet Union; the power plant remained active until 29 April 2002 when it was finally shut down. According to Kotchetkov, in its 48 years of operation there were no significant incidents resulting in personnel overdose or mortality, or radioactive release to the environment exceeding permissible limits.[1]

The next Soviet nuclear power plant to be connected to their grid was Beloyarsk Unit 1 in 1964 with a capacity of 100 MWe.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Nuclear Engineering International: Obninsk - number one, by Lev Kotchetkov Archived 2 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine, who was there at the time. Source for most of the information in this article.
  2. ^ Paul R. Josephson (2005). Red Atom: Russia's Nuclear Power Program from Stalin to Today. University of Pittsburgh Pre. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-8229-7847-3.
  3. ^ a b Ronald Allen Knief (1992). Nuclear engineering: theory and technology of commercial nuclear power (2nd ed.). Hemisphere Pub. Corp. p. 303. ISBN 978-1-56032-088-3.
  4. ^ Steven B Krivit; Jay H Lehr; Thomas B Kingery, eds. (2011). Nuclear Energy Encyclopedia: Science, Technology, and Applications. Wiley. pp. 26 and 138. ISBN 978-1-118-04347-9.
  5. ^ "Nuclear Power in Russia". World Nuclear Association. Archived from the original on 13 February 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2006.
  6. ^ National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on End Points for Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste in Russia and the United States. (2003). End Points for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste in Russia and the United States. National Research Council (U.S.). Board on Radioactive Waste Management. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press. p. 22. ISBN 0-309-50718-9. OCLC 52856463.
  7. ^ International Atomic Energy Agency (1968). Nuclear Power Economics Vol II. Bibliographical Series no. 30. International Atomic Energy Agency. p. 95. OCLC 24577447. first atomic power station Obninsk - pilot plant for the development of graphite-moderated steam-cooled ...
  8. ^ S. E. Hunt (1980). Fission, Fusion and The Energy Crisis (2nd ed.). Pergamon Press. p. 92. ISBN 978-1-4831-4861-8.
  9. ^ "APS-1 OBNINSK (Atomic Power Station 1 Obninsk)". Power Reactor Information System. IAEA. Archived from the original on 4 December 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  10. ^ "Nuclear Power Plants in Russia". Gallery. Power Plants Around The World. 3 March 2014. Archived from the original on 27 June 2022. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  11. ^ Steven B Krivit; Jay H Lehr; Thomas B Kingery, eds. (2011). Nuclear Energy Encyclopedia: Science, Technology, and Applications. Wiley. p. 29. ISBN 978-1-118-04347-9.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]