Russia celebrated the 65th anniversary of world’s first nuclear power plant, which was connected to grid for commercial purpose. On June 27, 1954 Obninsk Nuclear Power Plant with just 5 MW capacity was commissioned by the then Soviet Union in the city of Obninsk, approximately hundred kilometers southwest of Moscow. The plant operated successfully for almost five decades, until it was closed on April 29, 2002.
“Looking back on the last 65 years, the evolution of nuclear technology has made it safer, more reliable and more efficient than ever. Since 1954, our whole industry has learnt many lessons and has implemented many safeguards, best practices and has adopted such high standards, that a world without nuclear power is now unthinkable,” said Alexey Likhachev, Chief Executive Officer of Rosatom state atomic energy corporation, Russia. “Now, in the year 2019, we are proud to be able to offer our state of the art generation 3+ VVER-1200 nuclear reactor where power output is bigger than ever and safety has been further enhanced,” he added.
Rosatom, the Russian nuclear giant is kick-starting a series of events to mark the 65th year of the first nuclear power plant of the world, which also set the foundation of Russia’s nuclear energy industry. Celebrations commenced at the Rosatom corporate headquarter in Moscow. The local media was taken on a tour of the Obninsk NPP. The city of Obninsk will also host concerts and award ceremonies as well as an international scientific and technical conference on nuclear energy to mark the occasion.
Russia today is the global leader in nuclear power plant construction with a portfolio of 36 units in 12 countries. Russia now offers latest generation 3+ VVER technology. The VVER-1200 is considered to be the safest reactor in the world today and it completely fulfills all the safety requirements set by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Nuclear power units with VVER-1200 reactors are now at various stages of implementation in Bangladesh, Belarus, Turkey, Finland, Egypt, Uzbekistan and Hungary.
Evolutionary model of VVER technology, the VVER-1200 reactor has some advantages over its predecessor VVER-1000 like the capacity increased by 7%, number of required operational staff required reduced by 30-40%.
Bangladesh is setting up its first nuclear power plant in Pabna. Under the technical and financial assistance from Russia the Rooppur NPP will host two VVER 1200 power units each of 1200 MW capacity. The first unit is expected to be commissioned in 2023 while the second in 2024.
History of construction of Obninsk NPP
Taking cue from the recommendations made by the Technical Committee established by the First Main Directorate of the Council of People’s Commissars in October 1945, the erstwhile Soviet Government ordered the construction of the first nuclear power plant on May 16, 1949. Igor Kurchatov, who was at that time engaged in making of the atomic bomb, was appointed research supervisor of the project, and Nikolay Dollezhal was appointed as chief designer of the reactor. As recommended by Kurchatov uranium-graphite reactor was experimented and finally set up at Obninsk for production of electricity.