Belarus 1 reached full power for the first time on 12 January 2021 (Credit: Rosatom)On 12 January, Belarus 1 was brought to nominal power – 3200MWt and 1170MWe – for the first time.

Static and dynamic tests will continue at this power level as part of the pilot operation phase.

Following completion of these tests, within 15 days, comprehensive testing of the equipment and systems at rated power will be carried out. The unit will be approved for commercial operation by the acceptance committee after the successful completion of the comprehensive testing of the equipment.

The Belarus nuclear power plant, with two generation 3+ VVER-1200 reactors 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).

Start-up operations at Belarus 1 began on 7 August 2020 when the first fresh fuel assemblies were loaded into the reactor core. On 11 October, the reactor was brought to minimum controlled power level (less than 1% of the rated power), and on 3 November the power unit was connected to the unified power grid of Republic of Belarus. Trial operation of Belarus 1 commenced on 22 December.

Unit 1 is expected to be put into commercial operation in 2021, followed by unit 2 in 2022. Together they are expected to supply around 40% of Belarus' electricity needs.

Photo:  Belarus 1 was brought to nominal power for the first time on 12 January (Credit: Rosatom)