Belarus 1 begins commercial operation

15 June 2021

The Belarus acceptance committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Nazarov on 10 June approved unit 1 of the Belarus NPP for commercial operation. The commissions said tis decision was based on the positive conclusions of the supervisory authorities and the working commission of the BelNPP, as well as the licence for commercial operation recently issued by the Ministry of Emergency Situations.

The acceptance committee included representatives of the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, Gosstandart, the Ministry of Construction and Architecture, the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Grodno Regional Executive Committee, the State Production Association Belenergo, as well as representatives of the Russian companies ASE (general contractor), Atomstroyexport, Atomtekhenergo, other specialists and scientists.

The stage of industrial operation was preceded by a large amount of work - to check the readiness of technological systems and equipment for the development of thermal and electrical power, conduct the necessary tests, and train personnel. The unit is currently operating at its rated power level. Almost 3 TWh of electricity have been generated since its inclusion in the united energy system.

The plant said that 36 construction organisations took part in the construction and that the number of workers at the peak of construction totalled 8,500. It added: “Over the years of the implementation of the national nuclear energy programme, Belarus has taken serious steps towards the formation of a system of nuclear and radiation safety and its most important elements, including the creation of an appropriate regulatory framework, building and functioning of the protection and response system, training of personnel, and interaction on a systematic basis with leading international organisations.” The project “is a locomotive for the development of many sectors of the economy, promotes the widespread introduction of modern technologies in production, and ensures the creation of new jobs”.

Belarus NPP, being built by Rosatom, will consist of two Russian supplied VVER-1200 power units. Pilot operation of Belarus 1 was completed on 24 May following comprehensive testing over 15 days, with the unit operating at 100% capacity. Belarus NPP, located in Ostravets, Grodny region, will consist of two Russian supplied VVER-1200 power units. The plant was issued a permit for pilot industrial operation of unit 1 in December and it was connected to the grid earlier in March. Unit 2 is 85% complete and is expected to begin commercial operation in 2022. Experts of the Moscow centre of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) carried out a technical support mission in April to evaluate its operational readiness.

Image: Ostrovets nuclear power plant in Belarus (Photo credit: Rosatom)

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