Belarus Energy Minister Viktor Karankevich said on 4 April that unit 2 of the Belarus NPP is 80% complete. He told the Belarus 1 TV channel that, in March, the assembly of the reactor plant was completed and dummy fuel assemblies were loaded. In the near future, it is planned to begin cold and hot testing of the reactor installation. During 2021, fresh fuel will be delivered to the unit and loaded into the reactor in preparation for physical start-up, he added. During this stage a total of 135 tests will be carried out.
As for unit 1, since its inclusion in the unified energy system it has produced 1.8 TWh of electricity, he said. It is currently undergoing pilot operation during which appropriate tests and routine maintenance are being carried out. "In total, out of 394 tests, 309 have been completed. When all tests have been successfully completed, comprehensive testing of the equipment will take place at the rated power level for 15 days," Karankevich said.
Karankevich said the NPP will increase energy security and reduce dependence on hydrocarbon fuel. He noted that the launch of the plant will replace about 4.5 billion cubic metres of natural gas a year, and that electricity consumption in Belarus will increase to 44TWh by 2025.
Belarus NPP 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. It is expected that the unit 1 will be put into commercial operation in 2021 and unit 2 in 2022. The engineering division of Rosatom includes ASE EC JSC (Nizhny Novgorod), Atomstroyexport JSC (Nizhny Novgorod), Atomenergoproekt JSC (Moscow), Atomproekt JSC (St Petersburg) and others enterprises.