Russia signs up to build NPP in Belarus

20 October 2011

A contractual agreement to build Belarus’ first nuclear power plant has been signed. On 11 October Atomstroyexport (of Russia), the Rosatom State Corporation, and the NPP Construction Directorate (of Belarus) signed a contractual agreement for the construction of Units No. 1 and No. 2 of the nuclear power plant on the territory of Belarus. The document was signed by the chief of the NPP Construction Directorate Mikhail Filimonov andpPresident of Atomstroyexport Alexander Glukhov.

The agreement specifies the turnkey construction of two units of the nuclear power plant with a total capacity of up to 2400 MW. The document provides that the contractor undertakes the full responsibility for the construction of the plant, whcih will be built in Ostrovets, Grodno Oblast. The project is distinguished by the enhanced level of nuclear, radiation, technical and ecological safety, as well as techno-economic specifications, that have been undertaken.

Unit 1 is due for completion of construction by 2017, with the second unit to be commissioned in 2018. The cost of the project is estimated at about $9.4 billion. Russia is expected to provide loans for the NPP construction, and co-ordination of the loan agreement is almost complete.

The new plant will be based on the NPP-2006 project, Russia’s generation 3+ featuring what are described as 'a unique combination of active and passive safety systems' and is to be developed by the Saint Petersburg Atomenergoproyekt Institute.

The Belarusian design will employ four duplicate safety system channels, a fusion localisation device, a double shell for the reactor building, a system to remove hydrogen, and systems for passive heat dissipation. The installation will be designed to survive an earthquake of seven points on the MSK-64 scale. It will use a water-cooled power reactor, which is considered to have a good safety record over many years of operation.

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