OSTROVETS DISTRICT, 26 November (BelTA) – The Belarusian nuclear power plant will be ready to receive nuclear fuel in early 2019, BelTA learned from Alexander Lokshin, First Deputy Director General for Operations Management of the Russian nuclear industry corporation Rosatom, on 24 November.
The executive said: “The nuclear power plant will be ready for the delivery of the fuel early next year, roughly one month before the reactor start-up.”
In his words, the first unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant is scheduled for physical launch in late April 2019. “The unit is expected to start generating power 2.5 months after that. It will need roughly half a year for tested industrial use,” explained Rosatom's first deputy director general.
The construction of the first unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant is in its final phase. “Installation operations are nearly over. Startup and commissioning operations are in progress. A key event will happen this year: the switchgear assembly will get power. We expect it to happen next week. We also intend to reach the stage of hydraulic testing of circulation flushing this year. It will represent virtually the beginning of the tune-up of the reactor unit's key systems,” said Alexander Lokshin.
Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Rumas met with Rosatom Director General Aleksei Likhachev at the construction site of the Belarusian nuclear power plant on 24 November. The project's progress was discussed. Deputy Prime Minister Igor Lyashenko explained that the Belarusian side is satisfied with the pace of the work, the existing issues will be addressed within the next two weeks. “Critical points have been determined for every facility. Decisions on most of them have already been made. The remaining issues will be settled within the next two weeks. Work now proceeds on schedule,” said Igor Lyashenko.
Sergei Rumas visited key facilities of the nuclear power plant. In particular, he examined the operations base, the central control room of the nuclear power plant, and the education and training center. The prime minister was told that 96% of the amount of concrete the project requires had been poured or 1.1 million m3, with 99% of the necessary reinforcing bars installed (156,000 tonnes). The reactor pressure vessel and key pieces of equipment of the second unit have been installed. Process pipelines are being assembled. The installation of turbine systems has begun.
About 8,000 construction and installation workers are now employed at the Belarusian nuclear power plant construction site. Belarusian companies have fulfilled about 60% of the total volume of work.
The Belarusian nuclear power plant is being built using a Russian design featuring VVER-1200 reactors near Ostrovets, Grodno Oblast. The first power-generating unit is scheduled for commissioning in December 2019, with the second one to go online in July 2020.