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Physical launch of first unit of Belarusian nuclear power plant scheduled for autumn

Economy 15.04.2019 | 12:57

SOCHI, 15 April (BelTA) – The physical launch of the first unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant is scheduled for autumn 2019, BelTA learned from Belarusian Deputy Energy Minister Mikhail Mikhadyuk during the Atomexpo forum in Sochi on 15 April.

The official said: “We are on the way to the physical launch. We are making preparations, but we have yet to pass several stages. We are now testing units of equipment one by one. Hydraulic testing, circulating washing, cold and hot trials represent the next stage. The equipment will be inspected after that. If nothing major happens during the trials phase, we should be able to do the physical launch in autumn. We are making every effort to commission the first unit this year.”

Speaking about the delivery of nuclear fuel to the Belarusian nuclear power plant construction site, Mikhail Mikhadyuk underlined it was not a goal per se. “If we deliver the fuel, we will have to enforce completely different rules at the site, including physical security and the rest. This is why we are in no hurry [to deliver the fuel] in order to avoid restricting the work of construction and installation companies,” he explained. Nuclear fuel is supposed to be delivered one month ahead of the physical launch.

The Belarusian nuclear power plant is being built near Ostrovets, Grodno Oblast using a Russian design featuring two VVER-1200 reactors with the total output capacity of 2,400MW. The first power-generating unit is scheduled for commissioning in 2019, with the second one to go online in 2020. A batch of nuclear fuel has been made as the initial load for the first unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant by Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant (part of Rosatom's TVEL Fuel Company).

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