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Rosatom has applied to delay by two months the commissioning of unit 2 of the Leningrad II nuclear power plant in western Russian owing to the departure from the country of foreign workers installing diesel generators at the site. According to a report by Russian newspaper Kommersant yesterday, Rosatom considers their exit - owing to safety considerations amid the coronavirus pandemic - to be force majeure and has requested to be released from any fine for not being able to meet its obligations to add the unit's generating capacity to the wholesale market.

Leningrad II nuclear power plant (Image: Rosatom)

Rosenergoatom, Rosatom's operator subsidiary, has submitted its request for force majeure to the Market Council - Russia’s energy market regulator - whose supervisory board will on May 25 consider whether to approve delaying the launch of Leningrad II-2 to 1 April, 2021.

The unit is under a capacity supply agreement that guarantees a return on investment from the wholesale energy market and which also incurs penalties for failure to meet deadlines, Kommersant said. However, due to force majeure, Rosenergoatom is asking to be released from penalties for February and March 2021, which is estimated to be RUB360 million (USD4.98 million).

The force majeure circumstances arose on 15 March-30 April owing to the restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to Rosenergoatom’s application to the regulator, Kommersant said. French workers from the company MAN were supervising the installation of diesel generators at the Leningrad II construction site, but left Russia before borders were closed and international flights cancelled as part of the government's response to the pandemic. Installation of the diesel generators was resumed at the end of April, meaning that two months of work on this exercise had been lost.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News

Date: Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Leningrad-II-2-start-up-postponed-to-April-2021