Just so you’re up to speed:  Sources in the nuclear field tell us there is an incident underway at a Russian nuclear power station near St. Petersburg, Russia. 

From the initial reports circulating in the industry, it seems to have been a failure Friday on the secondary side of the reactor, not the primary side.  Our initial input seems to suggest that it may not amount to much and while there may be some minor radioactivity release, it is not likely to be the kind of event to require evacuations.

As with Fukushima, or to a lesser degree, Three Miles Island back in the day here, the big challenge for these older plant designs is keep the core cooled even when shut down, which appears to be going on now.

We understand the plant involved to be the Leningrad Power Plant in Sosnovy Bor which is 43 miles (80 clicks) west of St. Petersburg.

But what puts this on our radar is that the plant involved consists of four of the RMBK-1000 reactors which is of the same type as Chernobyl.

There was been some tracking in media (Russian) (example here) but no play here in the West yet.

A Wikipedia page exists on the plant here.

In a “chalk it up as strange” the last time we got a blip out of the Leningrad Oblast area was in September when a “Mysterious deal create [was] found near the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant.”

For now, looks like the Russian response and been fast and effective, but whenever a Chernobyl-type reactor is involved, U.S. and multinational experts pay really close attention.  Because, as one of our sources tells us…”..as long as the core is cool, things are cool…”