Repair and restructuring has been completed on the graphite stack of the RBMK-1000 reactor at unit 1 at Russia's Kursk NPP, which was reconnected to the grid on 9 April. The unit has been closed for repair since December 2015. The work involved longitudinal cutting of a limited number of graphite columns "to bring the graphite stack geometry back to what meets the original design requirements", the plant said. Kursk's four RBMKs have been allocated RUB32.5bn ($473m) up to 2027 to increase their safety and stability. The investments will be spent on state-of-the-art equipment and technologies.

Work is also continuing in preparation for the construction of the Kursk Phase II NPP, to be built at an adjacent site. Manufacture of essential equipment for Kursk II is already underway. Advanced payments for manufacture of reactor vessels, steam generators and pressurizers this year will be RUB10.211bn, according to Alexander Barinov, deputy director for construction at the Capital Projects Branch of nuclear utility Rosenergoatom.

Kursk II's commissioning is planned for 2022 and pre-construction work has begun at the site. The plant will have new generation VVER-TOI reactors. Key objectives for 2016 include obtaining the construction licence and the start of full-scale work on the pit and construction support facilities.

Date: Friday, 15 April 2016
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