MINSK, 16 October (BelTA) – The first power generating unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant (BelNPP) is 98% ready, Belarus' Energy Minister Viktor Karankevich told the media at the E-Mobility 2020 Forum on 16 October, BelTA has learned.
“The readiness of the first power unit of the BelNPP stands at 98%. Fresh nuclear fuel has already been loaded into the reactor and hydrotests have been performed. Now the physical start-up is at the final stage. We plan power start-up at the first unit in early November. This means the production of first kilowatt-hours with their delivery to the country's power grid. The commissioning of the power unit is scheduled for the first quarter of 2021,” said Viktor Karankevich.
Construction and installation works on the second power unit of the plant are 75% complete. Individual testing of the basic technological equipment is underway. The commissioning of the unit is slated for 2022. “Very soon Belarus will receive an economically profitable, environmentally friendly source of energy, the benefits of which will be felt both by the economy and the population. Electric transport is exactly the area which we will be successfully developing. I am confident that we have good prospects here,” the minister said.
In his words, the launch of the Belarusian nuclear power plant will open new opportunities not only for electric transport development. “This project, which is crucial for the country and the energy industry, will have a synergetic effect in the coming decades. The commissioning of the BelNPP will allow saving 4.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas, which will considerably strengthen Belarus' energy security. Greenhouse gas emissions will decrease by more than 7 million tonnes per year. This will improve the environmental situation in the country and make a significant contribution to the overall mitigation of the consequences from climate change in the world,” said Viktor Karankevich.
“The BelNPP project will be a platform for the widespread implementation of the most advanced technologies into the economy and development of innovative industries based on them. This is a transition to a new technological mode in the energy sector in favor of the environment and competitive tariffs,” he added.
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. Generation III+ reactor units boast improved technical and economic parameters. A unique combination of active and passive safeguards is the main feature of the power unit.