12 Apr 2023 20:39

Lukashenko signs decree on radioactive waste management

MOSCOW. April 12 (Interfax) - Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko signed a decree on Wednesday on a system for managing radioactive waste, which is aimed at ensuring its long-term storage and disposal, the Belarusian presidential press service said.

"The decree defines the sources of funding for the specially authorized organization (the national operator on managing radioactive waste), as well as the general design organization [which will provide] scientific support for developing and building radioactive waste processing facilities," the statement said.

Belarus is completing the construction of a nuclear power plant near the town of Ostrovets, in the Grodno region, based on Russia's VVER-1200 project. The plant will have two power units with a capacity of 1.2 gigawatts each. The ASE group of the Rosatom state corporation is the general contractor. The NPP's construction is being funded through a $10-billion Russian state loan.

The first power unit of the Belarusian NPP was put into commercial operation on June 10, 2021. The unit underwent its first scheduled maintenance from April 25 to November 9, 2022.

The physical launch of the second power unit began in December 2022. It is expected to be connected to the grid in April, and to be put into commercial operation in October.

On March 25, the Belarusian Energy Ministry's press service said that the second power unit had reached the minimum controllable power level, which is 1% from the rated capacity, as part of the physical launch process.

The pilot launch of the second unit's turbine generator, when it reached a 40% level of the rate capacity, took place on April 10.