The Federal Service for Ecological, Technological and Atomic Supervision has given licenses for prolonged work at both reactor No. 1 and No. 2 on the power plant, Khibiny.ru reports.
Reactor No. 1 was put into operation in 1973 and is now licensed to work until July 2018. Reactor No. 2 was put into operation in 1974 and is licensed to work until December 2019. The license for reactor No. 2 was given only the day before the last permission expired.
The two oldest reactors at the Kola NPP are of the VVER/440-230 type, the oldest Soviet model pressure-water cooled reactors for power plants. Both Norway and the European Union say the reactors should be closed down because it is not possible to modify them to acceptable safety standards. The reactors had an estimated design life of 30 years when they were started up.
According to Kola Nuclear Power Plant’s web site, the plant produces nearly 60 percent of all the electrical power in Murmansk Oblast.