Belarus nuclear power plant has received permission for a phased increase in the power of the VVER-1200 reactor plant to 50%. It is planned to complete work on the power start-up programme by early December 2020.
The Board of the Belarus Ministry of Emergency Situations, based on inspections by regulator Gosatomnadzor approved amending the licences of State Enterprise Belarus NPP and general contractor, Russia’s JSC ASE (the engineering division of Rosatom) to allow start-up of unit 1.
The start-up programme provides for a staged increase in the power of the reactor plant from 1% to 50% with grid connection at 40% power and dynamic tests at 50%.
Construction of Belarus 1 began in November 2013 and Belarus 2 in April 2014. Start-up of unit 1 began on 7 August when the first fuel assembly was loaded into the reactor vessel. On 11 October, the reactor was brought to the minimum controlled power level (less than 1%). At that stage more than 50 measurements were carried out, which confirmed the compliance of the nuclear-physical characteristics of the reactor installation with the design parameters.
The Belarus niuclear plant, 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). The repayment period is set for 2035. However, Belarus is seeking to extend the term and reduce the interest on the loan.
Photo: Belarus nuclear power plant achieved first criticality on 11 October (Credit: Rosatom)