Unit 1 of the Belarus NPP (BelNPP) has been connected to the grid, the Belarus Energy Ministry said on 16 March. "After the successful completion of studies of xenon transients in the reactor plant, the first power unit of the BelNPP was connected to the grid on 14 March. The reactor plant was brought to the nominal power level," the press service said. In accordance with the programme for pilot operation, it the reactor will undergo both stationary and dynamic tests at various power levels by 5 April.
Meanwhile, the loading of dummy fuel assemblies has been completed at BelNPP unit 2. A total of 163 assemblies were loaded into the reactor core, according to the Energy Ministry. "Simulators of fuel assemblies are an exact copy of fuel assemblies, completely repeating their design. They are used instead of standard fuel assemblies during the commissioning period to check the reactor installation for compliance with design characteristics and safety requirements," the press service explained. Unit 2 is being prepared for hydraulic tests and flushing of the primary circuit systems.
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. It is expected that the unit 1 will be put into commercial operation in 2021 and unit 2 in 2022.