Work has officially started on Belarus' first nuclear power plant at Ostrovets. The two-unit plant is being constructed by Russia's NIAEP-Atomstroyexport.
Belarus becomes the first nuclear "newcomer" country in Europe, and the second country after the United Arab Emirates, to start the construction of its first nuclear power plant in three decades, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Pouring of the first safety-related concrete for the basemat of unit 1 of Belarus NPP began on 6 November. Construction is expected to begin on the second unit in 2014.
The two-unit plant will be based on the 1200 MW AES-2006 Russian pressurized water reactor design. The design fully meets international standards and recommendations of the IAEA, Rosatom said.
The first unit is due to be commissioned in November 2018, with the second in July 2020.
The general contract for construction of the Belarus NPP was signed by Russia and Belarus in July 2012. In November 2012, the parties signed an intergovernmental agreement giving a Russian state export loan of up to $10 Billion to Belarus.
Photo: Construction of Belarus' first NPP started at the Ostrovets site on 6 November 2013. (Source: Directorate for NPP Construction, Belarus)