Russia / Kursk-1 Nuclear Plant Permanently Shut Down After 45 Years Of Operation

By David Dalton
23 December 2021

Two new units are under construction at the site
Kursk-1 Nuclear Plant Permanently Shut Down After 45 Years Of Operation
Unit 1 at the Kursk nuclear power station has been permanently shut down, with Unit 2 to follow. Courtesy Rosenergoatom.
The Kursk-1 nuclear power plant, which was connected to the grid in December 1976 and began full commercial operation in October 1977, has been permanently shut down, Russia’s state nuclear power operator Rosenergoatom said.

The 925-MW RBMK-1000 light water graphite reactor was taken offline at 00:24 Moscow time on 19 December, Rosenergoatom said.

Alexander Uvakin, Kursk NPP’s acting director, said that during its operation, the the unit has generated more than 251TWh of electricity – enough to provide for the energy consumption of the Kursk region for about 30 years.

An identical plant, Kursk-2, which began commercial operation in August 1979, is also scheduled to retire.

Two further units, Kursk-3 and Kursk-4, began commercial operation in 1984 and 1986 respectively. They are also 925-MW RBMK-1000 LWGRs.

There are two new units under construction at the Kursk site in western Russia. Kursk 2-1 and Kursk 2-2 will be the first of the VVER-TOI pressurised water reactor type and are being built to replace capacity lost by the closure of Kursk-1 and Kursk-2. Construction of Kursk 2-1 began in April 2018 and of Kursk 2-2 in April 2019.

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Russia has 38 nuclear units in commercial operation, although with the closure of Kursk-1 that is now 37. It has four units under construction: Kursk 2-1, Kursk 2-2, Baltic-1 and the Generation IV Brest-OD-300 lead-cooled fast reactor pilot demonstration plant at the site of the Siberian Chemical Combine in Seversk, southwest Siberia.

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