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11 Oct 2016

Belarusian nuclear power plant to start installing reactor vessel in late 2016 at the earliest

MINSK, 11 October (BelTA) – Operations to install the reactor pressure vessel of the first power-generating unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant will begin in late 2016 at the earliest, BelTA learned from Belarusian Energy Minister Vladimir Potupchik during the Belarusian Energy and Ecology Forum on 11 October.

Vladimir Potupchik said: “The manufacturer is about to finish testing the reactor pressure vessel. The vessel is supposed to be sent to our construction site in October. We intend to use it as part of the first power-generating unit.”

Asked whether the Belarusian nuclear power plant construction schedule may be adjusted, the official noted: “We were supposed to start installing the reactor vessel of the first power-generating unit in May 2016. In reality we will be able to start installation operations at the end of the year at the earliest. This is why naturally the construction schedule will be adjusted but we should find reserves in order to compensate for the delays.”

Initially this reactor pressure vessel was intended for the second power-generating unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant.

BelTA reported earlier that an off-nominal situation occurred at the construction site of the Belarusian nuclear power plant on 10 July 2016. A reactor pressure vessel slipped inside its rigging and was hanging at an angle, with one end touching the ground. Belarus has since decided to get the reactor vessel replaced. In turn, the Russian nuclear engineering corporation Rosatom has promised it will be done.

The Belarusian nuclear power plant is a project to build a VVER-1200 type nuclear power plant 18km away from Ostrovets, Grodno Oblast. The BelNPP will have two power-generating units with the total output capacity of up to 2,400MW (2x1,200MW).

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