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27 Jul 2020

First unit of Belarusian nuclear power plant to be fully commissioned in Q1 2021

First unit of Belarusian nuclear power plant to be fully commissioned in Q1 2021
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MINSK, 27 July (BelTA) – The first unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant is supposed to be fully commissioned in Q1 2021. Belarusian Energy Minister Viktor Karankevich mentioned the plans in an interview with the SB. Belarus Segodnya newspaper, BelTA has learned.

The official said: “Startup and commissioning operations are being completed on all the systems. The operations are required for the physical launch of the first unit. During this stage 163 fuel rod arrays will be gradually placed inside the reactor and after that the reactor unit will gradually increase output. The reactor power startup will begin after that: the first few kilowatt-hours of electricity will be transferred to the country’s power grid. Test operation will follow. The designed output capacity will be gradually reached and the ability of the first unit to operate at the designed output capacity will be thoroughly tested. The unit is supposed to be fully commissioned in Q1 2021.”

Meanwhile, work continues to integrate the Belarusian nuclear power plant into the national power grid. As part of the work rapid-response energy sources to serve as backup or be used during peak hours with the total output capacity of 800MW as well as electric boilers in heating plants with the total output capacity of 916MW are being commissioned. Projects have been implemented to build or reconstruct 1,700km of high-voltage power lines to allow delivering electricity from the nuclear power plant to any part of the country.

The energy minister pointed out that the launch of the Belarusian nuclear power plant will allow substituting 4.5 billion m3 of natural gas per annum. “We will save a lot considering the fact that Belarus imports about 20 billion m3 of natural gas every year,” Viktor Karankevich noted. The launch of the Belarusian nuclear power plant will allow reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 7 million tonnes per year.

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