Staffing at unit 1 of the Belarus NPP is "almost complete", and unit 2 is 50% staffed, the deputy head of the plant training centre, Alexander Erin said on 26 September.

“Unit 1 is almost completely staffed, only working positions remain – mostly locksmiths, maintenance personnel, whose training takes no more than three months."

Operational staff for Belarus 2 will be recruited in 2019 and repair personnel will be brought in, he added.
The Belarus NPP, with two VVER-1200 units, is being built at Ostravets near the Lithuanian border with the assistance of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom. The plant is based on the Generation 3+ NPP-2006 project, with Belarus 1 scheduled to begin operation in 2019 and Belarus 2 in 2020. The first delivery of nuclear fuel to the station is planned before the end of 2018.

Currently, the nuclear plant employs 1353 people, of whom about 900 are operational personnel. At unit 1, eight shifts of operating personnel for the control room have been trained. By the end of October, they will pass their final exams; a requirement of regulator Gosatomnadzor. After training has been completed there will be classes to support qualifications of 96 hours a year, including 60 hours for practical training on a full-scale simulator.

When Belarus 1 is launched in 2019, Belarusian specialists will be assisted by representatives of Rosatom. Erin said there was no concern that the plant would lose personnel to other nuclear facilities because earning are high and housing, transportation and a social package is provided for employees.

Work on the construction of both units is on schedule, according to Sergei Olontsev, Senior Vice President for the construction of the Belarusian NPP at general contractor ASE (part of Rosatom). Work on the security systems for unit 1 should be completed by mid-October, he said on 22 September.   

Photo: Artist's impression of Belarus NPP