Unit 2 of the Belarus NPP has been connected to the grid, the press service of the Ministry of Energy of Belarus reported in its Telegram channel. "As part of the staged programme for start-up, the first connection to the network of the second power unit of the Belarus NPP has taken place," the message said.

The Ministry noted that the synchronisation of the turbogenerator and the power system was preceded by the reactor reaching a minimum controllable power level of 40%, which will gradually be increased further to 100%. Pilot operation will follow “which provides for testing equipment and technological systems in various operating modes, including when the unit is disconnected from the network. Commercial operation of the unit is scheduled for later in 2023.

Minister of Energy Viktor Karankevich said earlier that unit 2 would be put into commercial operation in October 2023. Commercial operation of unit 2 has been delayed by several months. It was originally planned for early 2023. However, officials said this was to ensure all safety requirements were met.

The Belarus NPP comprises two Russian supplied VVER-1200 power units. The plant was issued a permit for pilot industrial operation of unit 1 in December 2020 and was connected to the grid in March 2021 and began commercial operation in June. It was the first VVER-1200 unit to begin operation outside of Russia. Fuel loading was completed at unit 2 in December 2021.

Image: The Belarus nuclear power plant (courtesy of Belarus Ministry of Energy)