Output from the Generation III+ VVER V-491 pressurised water reactor unit, which began commercial operation in October 2018, will replace electricity and heating capacity lost with the closure in December 2018 of the first of four RBMK-1000 units at the neighbouring Leningrad station.
Leningrad 2-1 was reconnected to the grid late last month after a short period of scheduled preventive maintenance, the first since the plant began commercial operation.
Nuclear district heating is a system for distributing heat generated in a nuclear station for residential and commercial heating. The heat is obtained from cogeneration (the process of producing electricity from steam) in nuclear power plants or from heat-only nuclear units, which do not produce electric power.
Major manufacturing and production companies on an industrial park in Sosnovy Bor were the first to receive heat produced by Leningrad 2-1, Rosenergoatom said. It is also planned to use the reactor’s heat supply for the city's residential heating system.
A Leningrad 2-1 spokesman was quoted by Rosenergoatom as saying thermal output of the unit is 3,200 MW, which is enough to supply heat to the industrial park and all of Sosnovy Bor, a city of about 66,000 residents. “As of now, we are only using one-third of the equipment's capacity,” the spokesman said.
Pre-commissioning testing began recently at Leningrad 2-1’s sister unit, Leningrad 2-2, which is expected to be physically started up in March 2020.
The existing Leningrad nuclear station has three commercially operating RMBK-1000 units and a permanently shut-down RBMK unit, Leningrad-1. The Leningrad 2 station will have four VVER-1200 units.