21 Feb 2018 15:00

Belarus expects fuel for BelNPP in Nov, loading planned for Feb 2019

OSTROVETS. Feb 21(Interfax) - Belarus is expecting shipment of fuel for the first power generation unit of its Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant (BelNPP) in November of 2018, with fuel loading slated for February 2019, Deputy Energy Minister Mikhail Mikhaduk told reporters in Ostrovets on Wednesday.

"We should receive fuel for the first power generating unit in November," Mikhaduk said.

"We must conduct a series of technological operations in order to physically launch the reactor in February 2019: loading fuel into the reactor and conducting trials with a gradual transition to electrical output," the deputy minister said.

After this, in the summer of 2019, it is expected that the power plant will be connected to the wider electrical grid, followed by a gradual ramping up of capacity in conjunction with the associated measures. "This will last half a year, so that we can launch the first power generating unit by the end of next year," he said.

The Belarusian nuclear power plant uses the Russian VVER-1200 design. It will consist of two units, each with capacity to generate 1,200 megawatts. The first unit is scheduled to begin operating in 2019 and the second in 2020. Atomstroyexport, a Rosatom company, is the general contractor for construction of the plant.