The first stage of commissioning has started at Ostrovets 1, a VVER-1200 under construction in Belarus, AtomStroyExport (the engineering division of Rosatom) has announced.

There are four stages in the commissioning programme for Russian-designed reactors: pre-commissioning, physical startup, energy startup, and pilot power generation, when the unit is generating but not connected to the grid.

The primary goal of the first stage is to check the performance of the systems and equipment of the reactor before starting to load the fuel, said  Vitaly Polyanin, vice president and project director for the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant.

Tests will be carried out on the equipment in the primary and second circuits of the reactor, including hydraulic testing and circulation flushing.

In March 2011, an intergovernmental agreement was signed between Russia and Belarus for construction of the Belarussian nuclear plant.  Construction of Ostravets 1 began in November 2013 and of Ostravets 2 in April 2014.

Photo: Ostravets 1 (Credit: ASE)