Rosatom Shuts Down Chernobyl-Type Reactor in St Petersburg

Russia’s state-run nuclear power company Rosatom has said it has taken a Soviet-built nuclear reactor out of operation after 45 years of service, the company said in a statement on Saturday.

According to the corporation, Reactor No. 1 at the Leningrad nuclear power plant has been shut down as planned. It said that with all the necessary measures taken, the company will unload the plant’s uranium fuel until 2023.

Launched in 1973, the reactor became the first unit of the RBMK-1000 type to be built in the Soviet Union. A reactor of the same type exploded in Chernobyl in April 1986 in the world’s worst nuclear accident. After the disaster, all such reactors have received safety upgrades, The Associated Press reported.

The Leningrad power plant has three other Soviet-built reactors of the same type and one new VVER-1200 reactor that became operational earlier this year.

“Shutdown is a very sensitive point, it’s very important to keep a public dialogue and to constantly demonstrate that everything is safe and under control. The report presented by the Leningrad NPP director was detailed and transparent. We will do our best to convey key ideas on the shutdown process to the public,” said Alexander Nikitin, the CEO of the environment group Bellona.