11 Jul 2023 09:55

Second unit of Belarusian NPP connected to power grid - Belarusian Energy Ministry

MINSK. July 11 (Interfax) - The second unit of the Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant has been connected to the power grid after scheduled tests, the press service for the Belarusian Energy Ministry said on Monday.

"The second unit of the Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant was connected to the power network at 9:48 p.m. on July 10 after the successful completion of scheduled tests of the reactor cool-down modes as part of the pilot operation program. Reactor power is being gradually increased," the press service said.

"In line with the further action plan at the second reactor unit, dynamic tests will be carried out at various power levels with unloading of the reactor unit, including to a zero level, followed by an assessment of the equipment characteristics before its comprehensive testing at design capacity," it said.

The BelNPP, which is near the town of Ostrovets, Grodno region, is built under Russia's VVER-1200 project. The plant has two generating units with a capacity of 1.2 GW each. Rosatom's ASE Group is the plant's general contractor. The Russian movement provided a $10-billion loan for the NPP's construction.

The first generating unit of the BelNPP has produced 15.5 billion kW/h since its start-up in November 2020. In late December 2022, the physical start-up stage began at the second power unit, which was brought to the minimum controllable power capacity on March 25. It was connected to the Belarusian power grid on May 13 at 40% reactor capacity. Its capacity was increased to 50% on May 19. The second unit was temporarily disconnected from the power grid to study the neutron-physical characteristics of the reactor core on June 10-14. Prior to the shutdown, the power unit was operating at 75% of its capacity as part of its pilot operation. The power unit was temporarily disconnected from the grid on June 28 to test the reactor's scheduled cooling modes.

The BelNPP second power unit is scheduled to be put into commercial operation in October. In Q4, the first power unit of the plant is planned to undergo a repeated scheduled maintenance.