By Associated Press - Saturday, December 22, 2018

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) - Russia’s nuclear power company says a Soviet-built nuclear reactor has been taken out of operation after 45 years of service.

The state-controlled Rosatom corporation said Saturday that Reactor No. 1 at the Leningrad nuclear power plant has been shut down as planned. It said it will take until 2023 to fully unload its uranium fuel.

Launched in 1973, the reactor became the first unit of the RBMK-1000 type to be built in the Soviet Union. A reactor of the same type exploded in Chernobyl in April 1986 in the world’s worst nuclear accident. All such reactors have received safety upgrades after the Chernobyl disaster.

The Leningrad power plant has three other Soviet-built reactors of the same type and one new VVER-1200 reactor that became operational earlier this year.

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