Maintenance work on reactor No. 1 at Kola nuclear power plant. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Rosatom announces 700-million rubel upgrade of Kola 1 reactor

Lifetime of the oldest nuclear reactor will with the upgrade be prolonged to 60 years.
March 28, 2016

The tender to upgrade Kola nuclear power plant’s first reactor was announced in February, reports Russian Atomic-Energy, a news portal affiliated with Rosatom.

Put into operation in 1973, Kola 1 was designed to operate for a 30 years period. The reactor’s lifespan has from before been extended by 15 years till 2018. The 700-million rubel (€9,15 million) upgrade will, according to the tender, take place before October 2018. The reactor will then be approved to operate until 2033, twice the original planed lifespan.

“Out-dated technology”

Environmentalists are not happy with the extended operation of what they call “one of the most dangerous reactors in the world.”

“I’m very concerned with the fact that the oldest reactor at Kola nuclear power plant is getting prolonged again,” says Nils Bøhmer, nuclear physicist with the Bellona Foundation in a Skype conversation with the Barents Observer.

Bøhmer argues that international experts have said the reactor technology is out-dated and does not meet international standards.

Kola nuclear power plant operates four press-water reactors of the Soviet design VVER-440 model. The plant, located by lake Imandra south of Murmansk, provides more than half of the electricity produced on the Kola Peninsula. 

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