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07 March 2023, 09:37

Opinion: BelNPP will strengthen energy security in Belarus-Russia Union State

MINSK, 7 March (BelTA) - The Belarusian nuclear power plant will strengthen energy security in the Union State of Belarus and Russia, Deputy Chairman of the Standing Committee on Industry, Fuel and Energy Complex, Transport and Communications of the House of Representatives Vasily Panasyuk told BelTA.

“The synchronous work of the Belarusian and Russian energy systems will noticeably increase the level of both energy and economic security in the Union State. The formation of the unified electricity market is the most important step to achieve economic sovereignty of the two countries. The unified market will protect electricity consumers from any external influences. In cooperation with with Russia, we can always help each other in the Union State,” he said.

Vasily Panasyuk added that Belarus would be able to sell electricity to Russia and the EAEU countries within the unified energy market. “A single tariff policy for energy products will be formed as part of a single market of the Union State. This in turn will set more flexible electricity prices for consumers,” the deputy chairman said.

In his words, the BelNPP is a cost-efficient project. According to him, the station will replace more than a quarter of the consumed gas in the country, while carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced by more than 7 million tonnes per year after its commissioning.

“When the plant reaches full capacity of 2,400MW, it will generate more than 18 billion kWh of electricity, which will meet about 50% of domestic demand. We will also diversify the types of fuel burned in power generation. Environmental issues are being addressed, which is of no less importance. When the plant reaches its full capacity, greenhouse gas emissions will be significantly reduced. And most importantly, the need to buy gas will be largely reduced, which is a significant saving of money,” the deputy chairman said.

At the meeting hosted by the Belarusian head of state on 6 March it was announced that the second unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant would be put into commercial operation in October 2023. The unit is to be connected to the grid in April 2023. The first unit has already generated more than 12.5 billion kWh since it went online, which allowed replacing over 3 billion cubic meters of gas and saving more than $400 million for the country.

The Belarusian nuclear power plant uses the Russian design AES-2006 featuring two VVER-1200 reactors with the total output capacity of 2,400MW. It is an evolutionary nuclear power plant design with third-generation water-moderated reactors with enhanced safety. Such designs boast improved technical and economic parameters. A combination of active and passive safeguards is their key feature. The building housing the reactor is covered by a double protective shell. The reactor can survive an earthquake, a hurricane, or flooding.

The VVER technology is by far the most demanded and tested in the world. The technology was used to commission nuclear power plants in China and India over the course of the last ten years and will be used to commission nuclear power plants in Egypt, Türkiye, Hungary, Bangladesh, and Uzbekistan.

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