The decision about construction of Zaporizhzhia NPP was taken by the USSR Soviet of Ministers in 1977, and since 1979 it became a main construction site among a number of the nuclear power plants built according to a unified design.
The advantages of the selected site for ZNPP construction are as follows:
In 1980 the engineering design of Zaporizhzhia NPP first stage containing four WWER-1000 power units, total capacity – 4000 MW, was approved.
On the 1st of April, 1980 the first cubic meter of concrete was put in the foundation of the first unit reactor compartment, and at the end of 1982 its reactor assembly started.
In 1983 the building of Zaporizhzhia NPP was announced to be an all-USSR Komsomol stepped-up construction.
On December 10, 1984, the first power unit of Zaporizhzhia NPP with the capacity of one million kWh was connected to the power grid. Three subsequent units were put in operation annually, as follows: the second unit – in 1985, the third unit - in 1986; the fourth unit - in 1987. In 1988 the design of plant extension (second stage), that provided for the construction of two additional units with analogous reactors, was proposed.
So, in 1989 the fifth unit operation started. But under the pressure of public, in August 1990 the Supreme Soviet of Ukraine accepted the decision about the moratorium on construction of new power plants of Ukraine. The construction of Unit 6, at 90% readiness, was also stopped. But severe winters and the lack of electric power as well as a real approach to the problem of obtaining electric power at the NPP made the public to change their opinion regarding the nuclear power plants.
In 1993 after cancellation of the moratorium, owing to the selfless labour of Zaporizhzhia NPP staff, the construction of Unit 6 was continued. In October of 1995 Unit 6 was put in operation. In that year the Organizational Committee of the International Institute of Finance and Economic Partnership made the decision to present to Zaporizhzhia NPP the award "Birmingham Torch" for successful economic survival and development in difficult conditions of incipient market relations in Ukraine.
Year by year, since 1984, the contribution of Zaporizhzhia NPP in the power engineering of Ukraine has increased from 2% to 22% (1/5 part of total electric power generated in Ukraine). At ZNPP a complex of measures that guarantee a safe and ecologically clean electric power generation is provided.