Unit 1 of the Belarus nuclear power plant resumed operations on 19 November plant, and was reconnected to the grid after replacing some voltage transformers and testing thermal power equipment and undertaking tests of the relevant equipment, according to the Energy Ministry.
“The reactor of the first power unit is currently working at 40% of its nominal capacity,” the Ministry said. The plant was shut down on 8 November — the day after it was formally opened by President Alexander Lukashenko after a transformer broke down. The Russian-designed VVER-1200 unit, at Ostrovets supplied its first electricity to the Belarus grid on 3 November.
On 9 November, the Ministry of Energy announced that the NPP had identified the need to replace individual equipment, but also said that the technological systems were operating normally. Oleg Sobolev, a consultant at the department for nuclear and radiation safety of the Ministry of Emergency Situations (Gosatomnadzor) told RIA Novosti that the station was replacing equipment related to the fourth safety level, which does not affect the nuclear and radiation background in any way. "According to the established procedures, even events that do not affect nuclear and radiation safety must be notified to Gosatomnadzor and they did that,” he said. “We, in turn, are continuing our supervision, which is carried out at the site of the Belarus NPP on a 24/7 basis."
The Belarus NPP, with two generation 3+ VVER-1200 reactors (total capacity 2400MWe) is being built near the town of Ostrovets by Rosatom. The project is financed by a Russian state loan of $10 billion (to cover 90% of the total cost). Unit 1 is expected to be put into commercial operation in 2021, followed by unit 2 in 2022. Together they are expected to supply around 40% of Belarus' electricity needs.