Russian nuclear power plant switches off units after short circuit malfunction

Second nuclear facility in Russia to have experienced power failures in past week

Adam Forrest
Thursday 18 July 2019 10:33 BST
Checkpoint at the Kalinin nuclear power plant
Checkpoint at the Kalinin nuclear power plant (Andrey Smirnov/AFP/Getty Images)

A short circuit at a Russian nuclear power plant has caused three reactors to shut down, a subsidiary of state energy corporation Rosatom said.

Three of the four power-generating units at the Kalinin station, located just over 200 miles north-west of the capital Moscow, were taken offline after a transformer switch short circuited early on Thursday morning.

Rosenergoatom claimed radiation levels remained normal following the malfunction at the facility in Russia’s Tver region.

Kalinin’s first, second and fourth reactors remain down, but the third unit was still in operation on Thursday morning, according to the state-run TASS news agency.

“The radiation level at the station and surrounding territory remains without change and is in line with normal background levels,” Rosenergoatom said in a statement.

It is the second nuclear plant to have experienced power failures in the past week, according to The Moscow Times.

At reactor at a facility in Beloyarsk was knocked out over an unspecified malfunction last Friday, before resuming power generation on Tuesday.

Two people were injured at the Kalinin station when a short circuit occurred at one of the generating units back in 2016.

Russia currently has 10 nuclear power plants in operation across the country and all are run by Rosenergoatom, according to the London-based World Nuclear Association.

In the decade after the 1986 Chernobyl accident, only one nuclear power station was commissioned in Russia, but construction of new plants revived around 2000.

In April, Russian officials revealed they had carried out successful tests at a “floating” nuclear power unit after putting a reactor on the Akademik Lomonosov ship. Set to be moored on the Arctic port of Pevek, Greenpeace dubbed the venture “Chernobyl on ice”.

Officials told TASS Thursday’s malfunction had no knock-on impact for electricity production, and customers would be unaffected.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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