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Belarusian nuclear power plant to cater to domestic needs, electricity export to EU ‘an option'

Economy 19.06.2017 | 19:26

MOSCOW, 19 June (BelTA) – Belarus is building a nuclear power plant for its own needs. Exporting electricity is not the idea behind the project yet Belarus is ready to discuss electricity export with European partners. Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Vladimir Semashko made the statement during the Atomexpo forum in Moscow on 19 June, BelTA has learned.

Asked by Polish reporters about Lithuania's call for blocking the export of electricity from the Belarusian nuclear power plant, Vladimir Semashko said: “Hearing this, I cannot but smile. When we were working out the business plan for building a nuclear power plant, we made it clear that we are going to build one for our own needs instead of export.” The Belarusian production sector has recovered from a recession and will continue growing. This is why electricity generated by the Belarusian nuclear power plant will be in demand inside the country, believes the deputy prime minister of Belarus.

If excess electricity is available after all, Belarus is ready to work with European partners, including Poland. “We are interested in cooperation, but please, keep it straight. Don't say that the Belarusian nuclear power plant will stop working if Lithuania, Poland, and Europe don't buy our electricity. It won't happen. The Belarusian nuclear power plant is designed to give 100% to domestic needs,” explained the official.

In his words, the construction site near Ostrovets meets all the international requirements. “Initially there were 82 sites fit for building a nuclear power plant. After taking a closer look at them we opted for the most reliable one — the Ostrovets site. No politics was involved in the decision. Only safety and reliability considerations,” remarked Vladimir Semashko.

As far as the Russian nuclear power plant design AES-2006 is concerned, Belarus negotiated with many countries, studying their proposals. As a result, a 3+ generation nuclear power plant was chosen. It meets all the safety requirements, stressed the deputy prime minister of Belarus.

The Belarusian nuclear power plant is built using the Russian nuclear power plant design AES-2006 18km away from Ostrovets, Grodno Oblast. The power plant will have two power-generating units, with each able to generate 1,200MW of electricity. The first unit is scheduled for commissioning in 2019, with the second one to go online in 2020.

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