The Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry (Gosatomnadzor) said on 20 February that it had begun a targeted inspection at the Belarus nuclear plant.

The purpose of the inspection is to see whether Ostravets 1 is ready for fuel loading and to assess compliance with relevant laws, and technical regulations.

The inspection, which is being carried out by an ad-hoc group set up by Gosatomnadzor, could last for up to 30 days.

Belarus' first nuclear plant, under construction near Ostrovets by ASE, the engineering arm of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, will comprise two VVER-1200 reactors.

Ostrovets 1&2 are scheduled to go online in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

Earlier in February Deputy Energy Minister Mikhail Mikhadyuk told the Respublika newspaper that Ostrovets 2 was 70% ready and that pre-commissioning tests were nearing completion at Ostrovets 1.

Photo: Belarus' first nuclear power plant