Russia's Mayak plans approved

Plans for the modernization of Russia's RT-1 spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plant at Mayak Production Association have been approved by the country's atomic energy minister, Alexander Rumyantsev, NucNet reported. The atomic energy ministry, Minatom, said implementation of the plan, accepted by the minister earlier this month, would ensure the "complete cessation of radioactive discharges to the Techa river" (from closed lakes at the plant's site) by 2011. Modernization of the plant, which lies in the industrial Urals region, will also allow the plant to reprocess spent fuel from VVER-1000 reactors. RT-1 is currently only able to process spent fuel from VVER-440 and BN-600 reactors, as well as spent fuel from nuclear-powered submarines, plus civil and military ships.

Meanwhile, the Leningrad NPP has completed a study showing that it would be possible to extend the lifetime of unit one at the plant for at least 15 years. The unit was first connected to the grid in December 1973. A comprehensive safety assessment and other related documents in support of the extension will be submitted to Russia's nuclear regulatory body, Gosatomnadzor. Separately, the director of Russia's Kalinin N-Plant, Stanislav Antupov, has confirmed that the third unit of the plant remains on schedule for commissioning in December of this year. He said around 11 billion roubles (about 362 million USD) had been invested in the completion programme - financed from sales of electricity from Russian NPPs. Up to 10% of that amount would be spent on building "social and cultural" facilities around the plant, and to develop the regional infrastructure.


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