Historical Overview of Nuclear Engineering in Russia

Rosatom State Corporation Engineering Division unites the leading companies of the nuclear industry: Joint-Stock Company Atomstroyexport (Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod branches in Russia and abroad), Joint Design Institute – JSC Atomenergoproekt (Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod branches – design institutes, branches in Russia and abroad, survey branches), JSC ATOMPROEKT (St.Petersburg design institute) and subsidiary construction companies (JSC NIKIMT-Atomstroy, RosSEM Trust LLC, JSC Energospetsmontazh, LLC SMU No 1, LLC VdMU, JSC SEZAM, JSC SPb NIII EIZ).

The Engineering Division Background

Atomstroyexport (ASE JSC)

JSC Atomstroyexport is the managing company of Rosatom State Corporation Engineering Division, the leading engineering company of the nuclear industry. It was established on March 25, 1998 on the basis of two major Russian companies involved in NPP construction abroad – JSC Atomenergoexport and VPO Zarubezhatomenergostroy.

Twenty-nine power units in seven countries were build and put into operation with the participation of specialists of Atomenergoexport and Zarubezhatomenergostroy.

In 1998, Atomstroyexport became the leading company representing Russia on the global market of NPP construction. It undertook the obligations under the previously concluded intergovernmental agreements and commenced its activities in the new conditions.

The commencement of activities of JSC Atomstroyexport coincided with the period of stagnation in the nuclear industry but finally it was the foreign projects that supported the companies of Russian nuclear industry and helped them keep and strengthen the available potential, prepare for the large-scale program of nuclear industry development in Russia.

On 1 July 2021, as a result of restructuring, ASE Engineering Company JSC (former JSC NIAEP) merged with JSC Atomstroyexport (JSC ASE). JSC ASE became managing company of Rosatom State Corporation Engineering Division and undertook all the obligations and authorities of ASE EC JSC.

JSC Atomenergoproekt

Historically, all the design institutes of the nuclear industry originate from the All-Union State Design Institute Teploelectroproekt founded in 1924 in Moscow for implementation of the GOELRO ambitious project.

Initially, Teploelectroproekt was involved in the construction of hydro- and thermal power plants in the Soviet Union. Designing of nuclear power plants as a separate area emerged in 1958.

Moscow Branch of JSC Atomenergoproekt – Moscow Design Institute is the oldest design institute of the industry, it is the successor of the legendary Teproelectroproekt.

It is the renowned leader in designing the nuclear island, I&C, engineering survey and probability safety analysis reports.

During the years of its operation, the company developed designs for most NPPs in Russia, East Europe and CIS countries. The company was involved in the designing of all the power units of the oldest NPP in Russia – Novovoronezh NPP, starting from the first units and finishing with the III+ generation advanced units of Novovoronezh NPP-2.

Nizhny Novgorod Branch of JSC Atomenergoproekt – Nizhny Novgorod Design Institute was established on the basis of Nizhny Novgorod (Gorky) branch of Teploelectroproekt that was founded in 1951. The institute commenced its designing activities in 1968. The first project – design of Armenian NPP – became a real scientific breakthrough. The seismic resistant nuclear plant fully proved its safety and withstood the severe Spitak earthquake.

Nizhny Novgorod Atomenergoproekt also left its mark in the newest history. In the post-Soviet era, the company was involved in the commissioning of the first (2001) and the second (2010) units of Rostov NPP, the third (2005) and the fourth (2021) units of Kalinin NPP. These facilities marked the resurrection of the nuclear industry of Russia.

The designs of Atomenergoproekt are also well-known abroad as the company was general designer of Kozloduy NPP in Bulgaria, Temelin NPP in Check Republic, Kudankulam NPP in India. Akkuyu NPP in Turkey and Zaporozhe NPP in Ukraine.


JSC ATOMPROEKT represents the St.Petersburg school of nuclear facilities designing. The company is the successor of the Leningrad branch of Teploelectroproekt established on 1 September 1929.

Specialists of the Leningrad designing school stood at the origin of the nuclear industry of the USSR. It was this institute that developed the design of Obninsk NPP, the first NPP in the world. In the following years the company designed over 20 research reactors globally and developed documentation for several dozen NPPs in Russia and abroad. ATOMPROEKT is general designer of all the Russian NPPs with fast neutron reactors.

The St. Petersburg institute developed designs for two power units of Leningrad NPP-2, Belarus NPP, power units 7 and 8 of Tianwan NPP, power units 3 and 4 of Xudabao NPP, Hanhikivi-I NPP in Finland, Paks-II NPP in Hungary, El-Dabaa NPP in Egypt and units 3 and 4 of Leningrad NPP-2.

Main milestones in the history of the Engineering Division

1954 — Obninsk NPP, the first nuclear power plant in the world, was put into operation.

1964 — unit 1 of Novovoronezh NPP with VVER-210 reactor, was put into operation.

1966 — the first NPP constructed by USSR abroad was put into operation in Rheinsberg (German Democratic Republic).

1969 — construction of power unit 2 of Novovoronezh NPP with VVER-365 reactor. The reactor is an intermediate stage between safety generations I and II.

1971 — construction of the first nuclear power plant with VVER-440 reactor at Novovoronezh NPP.

1973— construction of the first 1000 MW power unit of Leningrad NPP. Start-up of Kola NPP, the first nuclear power plant built beyond the Arctic Circle. Until now it is the northmost NPP in Europe.

1976 — the first unit of Armenian NPP was put into operation. It was the first NPP built in a seismic region that withstood the earthquake with magnitude 7.

The beginning of the 2000’s was marked by the resumption of the serial construction of VVER-1000 power units, development and implementation of III+ safety generation designs with the passive “post-Chernobyl” safety systems.

2001— commissioning of unit 1 of Rostov NPP, the first unit constructed after the reform period.

2007—the first two power units of Tianwan NPP (China) with VVER-1000 reactors were put into commercial operation.

2010— unit 2 of Rostov NPP was put into commercial operation.

2012 — unit 4 of Kalinin NPP was put into commercial operation.

2013 — unit 1 of Kuldankulam NPP (India) was connected to the power grid. The design was the first one to envisage passive heat removal systems of the reactor plant.

2015 — unit 3 of Rostov NPP was put into commercial operation.

2017 — unit 1 of Novovoronezh NPP was put into commercial operation. This is the first III+ generation unit in the world built under the Russian AES-2006 design with a VVER-1200 reactor plant.

2018 — start-up of unit 1 of Leningrad NPP-2 which became a reference unit for foreign projects of Rosatom State Corporation implemented in different countries of the world.

2019 — unit 2 of Novovoronezh NPP was put into commercial operation.

2020 — unit 2 of Leningrad NPP-2 and unit 1 of Belarus NPP were put into commercial operation.