Belarus Energy Minister Viktar Karankevich told TV channel ONT on 11 April that the Belarus nuclear power plant under construction at Ostrovets will be launched during the summer and start producing electricity in the autumn.
The Ostrovets nuclear plant, being build by Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom will have two generation 3+ VVER-1200 reactor units.
Karankevich said July is the target for the physical launch of the units. “Accordingly, the output of first kilowatt hours of electric power – the energy – will start in September-October,” he said.
The general contractor for Belarus’ first nuclear power plant is Atomstroyexport (ASE), part of Rosatom.
Belarus has already completed four activities out of 23 included in the National Action Plan based on the results of stress tests of the Belarusian NPP, the head of regulator Gosatomnadzor Olga Lugovskaya said in an interview with BelTA on 10 April.
Lugovskaya noted that the national plan contains measures aimed at increasing the safety of the plant against adverse events (earthquakes, floods, extreme weather conditions) and their combined effect. It takes into account the recommendations of the European peer review conducted by experts of the European group of regulatory authorities for nuclear safety ENSREG in 2017-2018, and the results of its own analysis, which was carried out before the peer review.
In particular, the Centre for Geophysical Monitoring of the National Academy of Sciences investigated the nature of the Gudogai seismic event in 1908, the results of the work are being applied to the nuclear power plant for further implementation of the plan. The next step is to update the seismicity catalogue for the area where the power plant is located.
Gosatomnadzor is preparing for the first public hearing before issuing a licence to operate Ostrovets 1. This hearing is expected to take place as soon as the regulator’s safety review is completed.
Hot testing at Ostrovets 1 has been completed and the unit is ready to load fuel, ASE said.