LNPP REPLACING CAPACITIES
As far as the medium-term outlook is concened, the problem of maintaining a stable energy balance in this geographical region will be solved by lifetime extension of the operating LNPP units. The long-term outlook of the regional energy sector development requires however the building up of new power generation capacities.
It has been proposed to replace gradually the existing RBMK-1000 units, as they are decommissioned, with 4 units housing the MKER-1000 multi-loop boiling-water power reactors with enhanced safety and a total electric capacity of 4,000 MW.
In May 1992, an International Jury evaluated 16 design and technical bids submitted by various companies from Russia, Germany, Canada, the Ukraine, Finland, France, and Sweden, 13 of which were based on nuclear, and 3 – on conventional power solutions.
The aim of the competition was to select proposals for further decision to be made by competent authorities on the construction of the safest possible electricity generation facilities during the implementation of a long-term regional energy programme for St Petersburg and Leningrad Region, considering the expected decommissioning of the Leningrad NPP. Regarding MKER the Jury made the following statement: «...it seems necessary to demonstrate its advantages by way of constructing and operating a unit with such reactor».
In as much as Sosnovy Bor is the place where an NPP with channel-type reactors have been in operation since 1973, the design of the new unit to replace the existing capacities draws on the experience of LNPP construction and operation. The design also takes into account comments and proposals of LNPP experts.
The Head Designer of the new NPP is the All-Union Design & Research Association (VNIPIET).
The Head Designer of the Reactor and Automatic Process Control System is the Research & Development Institute of Power Engineering (NIKIET).
The leading scientific organization is the Institute of Atomic Energy named after I.V.Kurchatov (IAE). Other Russian R&D organizations were also recruited to prepare the design and experimental justification of the safety systems, such as: the “Prometheus” Central Research Institute, the Central Research Institute named after Krylov, the All-Union Institute of Heat Engineering named after Dzerzhinsky, and the Obninsk Physicotechnical Institute.