Updated at 13:48,15-08-2017

Russia talks about 'generator failure' not explosion at NPP in Voronezh

Ales Pilecki, Euroradio

Russia talks about 'generator failure' not explosion at NPP in Voronezh
Novovoronezhskaya nuclear power plant. Photo: Regnum
Several Russian media outlets reported last week about an accident at the Novovoronezhskaya experimental nuclear power plant (NPP). According to local residents, there was an explosion accompanied by a rapid emission of steam at one of the reactor units. Russian nuclear physics expert Andrei Azharovsky told Euroradio there was no detailed information about the incident as of November 16. In the expert's view, a generator might have been destroyed. In that case, there was no danger of radioative contaminationof the power unit and costs a lot of money.

The situation at Novovoronezhskaya NPP is of interest to Belarus, because it is testing the same type of reactors, turbines and generators that Russians plan to install at the nuclear power plant in Astraviec, Belarus.

On November 21, Euroradio received a letter from Rosenergoatom, Russia's federal agency that oversees the nuclear energy sector in that country. According to Rosenergoatom, reports about an exlposion and the destruction of a generator at Novovoronezhskaya NPP have nothing in common with reality. What happened was a 'generator failure.'

"As it was reported earlier, on the night of November 10, 2016 during the tests at the power unit No 6 of Novovoronezhskaya NPP there was a generator failure, leading to the disconnection of the power unit from the grid. Safety systems operated normally. The preliminary evaluation on INES scale is zero. It means the event was insignificant for the safety of the power plant and personnel. A commission of specialists was set up to identify the cause of the generator's failure. A short circuit on the electrotechnical equipment is regarded as the main possible cause of the incident. Two solutions were discussed: 1) repair works; 2) replacement of the generator's stators with the one supplied earlier for the power unit No7. The second option was eventually approved as the preferred solution," reads the official statement by Rosenergoatom that Euroradio has received.

The Russian corporation also sent a photograph, it says from the accident site.

Russia talks about 'generator failure' not explosion at NPP in Voronezh

Russia talks about 'generator failure' not explosion at NPP in Voronezh