Russian reactor ready to be switched on after thunderstorm shutdown

Specialists have fixed damaged power lines, which caused a safety shutdown at the Balakovskaya nuclear power plant (NPP) in central Russia, the regional emergencies service said.

The plant’s fourth reactor shut down automatically late on Thursday, when a thunderstorm on the border of the Saratov and the Samara regions damaged two power supply lines serving the reactor.

“As of 18:00 Saturday power line damage was fixed. No electricity supply disruptions took place. A request to restart the reactor has been sent to Moscow,” the press office of the local emergencies service said in a statement.

Nuclear specialists earlier said such safety shutdowns are a routine occurrence.

The Balakovskaya plant has four modernized VVER-1000 nuclear reactors with power output of 1,000 MWt each. Only two of them are currently operational as the first reactor was shut down for scheduled maintenance on June 8 for 60 days.

The recent disaster in Japan has confirmed the vulnerability of plants with even most sophisticated safety features.


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