Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Russia must cease operation of RBMKs

“I asked the general director Sergej A. Obozov of OAO Concern Energoatom: When they plan to end the operation of the RBMK type reactors?
I got the answer:
Currently the use of units 1 Kursk NPP, units 1 and 2 Leningrad NPP are already extended and there are work in progress aimed to extend the operation of other units in the Nuclear Power Plants Kursk and Leningrad and in addition the unit 1 of Smolensk NPP. The extension of operation of power plant units with the mandatory fulfillment of all the safety regulations gives an opportunity to obtain an electrical power installed for a fraction of the cost of a new unit from zero - $3000 for a kW (new power unit) compared to $300 (or about that) for the extension of operation.
The youngest RBMK unit is the Smolensk unit 3 started in 1990 with a design lifespan of operation 30 years. After the operating life depending on the condition of the non-exchangeable equipment and other consideration of preferences an extension of operation for 15-20 years is possible. Therefore, in case there will be an extension of operation decided for this power plant unit, the last RBMK reactor will be in operation until the year 2035-2040.”

This answer does not satisfy me and many other concerned individuals with knowledge of the real unsafe construction of RBMKs.
The financial crisis unfolding also gives a real opportunity to replace the unsafe RBMK units with safe VVERs, where the reactor is enclosed in a containment, sized for the maximum amount of zircalloy cladding reacted with steam and will withstand the explosion of generated Hydrogen-air mixture. The still operating RBMKs are as unsafe now as they were in the time of Chernobyl Disaster! The Russian Federation has to shut them down now!

My Chernobyl details the problems and available on BookSurge.com and Amazon.com.

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