Russia’s Atomstroyexport (ASE), the engineering division of the state nuclear corporation Rosatom, on 23 April began loading dummy fuel assemblies at unit 1 of the Belarus NPP in preparation for cold and hot pre-commissioning tests.
The dummy assemblies exactly replicate the design of standard fuel assemblies but without fuel. “This will confirm the readiness of systems and equipment intended for handling nuclear fuel during operation of the power unit which will be checked for compliance with the design characteristics and safety requirements,” said ASE vice president and director Vitaly Polyanin. “After all 163 dummy assemblies are loaded into the reactor, there will remain a small amount of work before the stage of hydraulic testing and circulation washing of systems and equipment of the reactor’s first and second circuits, which is scheduled to begin in late May.”
Two Russian VVER-1200 pressurised water reactor units are under construction at the Ostrovets site in Belarus, near the border with Lithuania. Construction of unit 1 began in November 2013 and of unit 2 in April 2014.