Rosatom: A Year in Review

2018 is coming to a close, which means it’s time look back and asses the results of our work. We have analyzed Rosatom’s core activities and identified the year’s key milestones.


Rosatom has asserted its position as a leading global exporter of large-capacity nuclear power plants in 2018. The Russian nuclear corporation started construction of three nuclear power units and commissioned three more.

On-site construction operations started at two of Rosatom’s overseas projects, Akkuyu Unit 1 (Turkey) and Rooppur Unit 2 (Bangladesh). As of mid-December 2018, new construction was launched at four sites around the world. Taking into account the foundation concreting at Kursk II Unit 1 (Russia), VVER-1200 reactors accounted for 75% of new construction globally. Limited works permit recieved for Akkuyu NPP Unit 2.

Russia’s last VVER-1000 reactor was put into operation at Rostov NPP Unit 4. A similar reactor was brought online at Tianwan NPP in China. Unit 1 of Leningrad II was the third VVER reactor commissioned within a year. It is a VVER-1200 reactor.

The innovative reactor of the world’s only floating nuclear power unit, Akademic Lomonosov, generated its first electricity in 2018. It is now being prepared for transportation to its destination port of Pevek.

Nuclear operation

Much progress has been made in extending the service life of operational power units.

The reactor pressure vessel was successfully annealed at Balakovo Unit 1. It is the only nuclear island component that cannot be replaced. Service life extension by annealing is therefore the only option to safely and efficiently increase an NPPs lifecycle. Neutron flux makes steel more brittle and less strong, and annealing helps restore its original properties. Previously, Rosatom engineers annealed only VVER-440 pressure vessels. The VVER-1000 vessel was annealed for the first time ever. Western-designed vessels can also be annealed using this technology.

Rosatom finalized its feasibility study for the life extension of Kozloduy Unit 6 (Bulgaria) until 2051. This unit has a VVER-1000 reactor.


Generation 3 fuel loading continued at operating VVER-1000 reactors; development of optimized fuel assemblies for VVER-440 reactors is in its final phase.

Third-generation fuel, TVSA-12 and TVSA-T.mod.2, loading into operational reactors. These fuel assemblies make VVER-1000 reactors more cost-efficient in operation. The fuel of this design is currently used at Temelin (Czech Republic) and Kozloduy (Bulgaria) NPPs. It is expected to keep transitioning foreign VVER-1000 units running on modified UTVS fuel toward the more modern TVS-2M.

Rosatom is close to finishing the development of a new fuel design for VVER-440 reactors. These fuel assemblies are of interest for the Loviisa (Finland) and the Paks (Hungary) NPPs. New fuel longevity tests were completed in December.

Mechanical engineering

Atomenergomash, Rosatom’s mechanical engineering division, produced and shipped two reactors for the RITM-200 power unit to be installed on the Ural nuclear icebreaker.

Production of major components for large-capacity nuclear power plants runs as scheduled.

Information technology

The major achievements in this area are related to automated control systems for nuclear power plants.

Rosatom completed acceptance tests of upper-level hardware and software components of the automated control systems for Kudankulam Units 3 and 4. Similar systems will be installed at Units 5 and 6 of this Indian plant.

Rosatom began developing an automated control system for four units at the Akkuyu nuclear power plant.

International agreements

Breakthrough agreements with China and Uzbekistan were signed this year as well.

The number of contracts with China has grown. Rosatom signed an agreement to build two reactor units on a new site near Xudabao and two more units at Tianwan in addition to the other four. The VVER-1200 design will be used on both sites.

The Russian nuclear corporation will deliver machinery and fuel for China’s first medium-capacity fast neutron reactor CFR600.

Rosatom will supply radionuclide heater units (RHUs), which will be used in radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RITEGs) for the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program.

Rosatom signed an action plan to build six reactor units on a new site in India.

Rosatom won a contract to construct two VVER-1200 reactors in Uzbekistan. The first unit is planned to be commissioned by the end of 2028. Engineering surveys of the potential site began.

A strategic document was signed to define the scope of civil nuclear cooperation with Argentina, including small and large capacity nuclear power plants, floating nuclear power plants, staff training and other areas.