MINSK, 26 October (BelTA) – The Belarusian nuclear power plant has been granted the license to operate the first unit, the press service of the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry (Gosatomnadzor) told BelTA.
“On 23 October the Board of the Emergencies Ministry decided in favor of amending the license of the state enterprise Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant to carry out activities in the area of usage of nuclear energy and sources of ionizing radiation. The amendments will allow the enterprise to start launching the first energy unit,” the press service informed.
The Board's decision relies on Gosatomnadzor's findings. Gosatomnadzor reviewed the outcomes of the expert evaluation of safety substantiation documents and checked the readiness of the Belarusian nuclear power plant to perform the declared activities.
A reminder, the first loading of fuel into the reactor core, trials on a subcritical reactor, physical experiments while the reactor is at minimum controllable power, reactor power startup, and pilot operation are allowed after the readiness of the operating company for the relevant steps of the commissioning process is checked and the relevant permits (licenses) are granted.
Once all these steps are over, the license to operate the first unit is granted. The license is to be granted before the government commission in charge of accepting the facility for operation starts working.
Gosatomnadzor pointed out that public hearings are arranged before the license to operate the first unit is granted. The general public should be informed about progress and results of the expert evaluation of safety and the evaluation of the operating company's conformance with requirements of the license.
The Belarusian nuclear power plant is being built near Ostrovets, Grodno Oblast using the Russian design AES-2006 featuring two VVER-1200 reactors with the total output capacity of 2,400MW. The Russian state nuclear industry corporation Rosatom is the general contractor.