Old Soviet-era reactor returns to service at Leningrad nuclear plant

Leningrad 1 restart (Leningrad NPP)_460

I read a fair amount of unusual stuff each day, but this jumped out at me.

The World Nuclear News reported today:

Leningrad 1, the oldest operating RBMK unit, has been reconnected to the grid after the completion of work to resolve deformation of its graphite moderator.

First, the easy part — RBMK is short for Reaktor Bolshoy Moshchnosti Kanalniy, a type of reactor designed and built in the old Soviet Union. (Thank you, Wikipedia.)

The alarm bells began ringing in my head at the phrase graphite moderator. Turns out that the Leningrad 1 reactor is one of the few surviving RBMK reactors still operating after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. The unit that exploded at Chernobyl was an RBMK.

 Shortly after going online in 1974, the Leningrad 1 RBMK may have suffered a partial meltdown in 1975. Soviet-era secrecy has made determining the severity of the accident difficult, but some estimates have placed the radioactive release at 1.5 million curies, enough to place the accident in the top five Russian nuclear disasters.

Here’s a link to the WNN article: http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS-Restored-RBMK-back-on-line-0212137.html



About Robert Singleton

By day, I work for a call center. In my spare time, I try to save my hometown (and planet) from a nearly constant onslaught of greedheads, lunatics and land developers. I live in a fictional town called Austin, Texas, where I go to way too many meetings.
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