The general contract for the construction of Belarus' first nuclear power plant has been signed with Russia's AtomStroyExport (ASE).
|How a twin AES-2006 plant could look (Image: AtomEnergoProekt)
The contract was signed today by Mikhail Filimonov, head of Belarus' Nuclear Power Plant Construction Directorate, and Alexander Glukhov, president of ASE. It defines the main terms of the general contract for the construction of two nuclear power reactors as a turnkey project to be carried out by ASE.
Belarus earlier launched a tender for the construction of the plant and invited bids from Rosatom, Areva and Westinghouse-Toshiba. ASE - Rosatom's subsidiary for the construction of nuclear power plants abroad - was reportedly the only bidder prepared to proceed and provide financing. The total cost of the two-unit plant is estimated at some $9 billion.
The 1200 MWe AES-2006 model VVER pressurised water reactor design, developed by the St Petersburg AtomEnergoProekt, has been selected for use at the Belarusian plant. The first unit is scheduled to be commissioned in 2017 and the second in 2018. Ostrovetsk in the Grodno region has been selected as the site for the plant,; this is in the north east of the country near to neighbouring Lithuania and Poland and not more than 300 km from another Russian build project in Kaliningrad.
Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko was cited by RIA Novosti as saying, "It is only today that I've signed the resolution and agreed to sign a contract with the Russian Federation to build our first nuclear power station." He noted that Belarus has already started working on the site.
In May 2009, Russia and Belarus signed an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the field of atomic energy for peaceful purposes. This framework specified the main directions of cooperation in the development, design, construction and operation of nuclear power plants, nuclear fuel supply, nuclear and radiation safety, as well as scientific cooperation, training and others.
This agreement was followed in September 2009 with ASE signing an agreement to assist in a feasibility study into the construction of the Belarus' first nuclear power plant. The study also considered the investment options available to finance the proposed plant.
An intergovernmental agreement between Russia and Belarus specifically on cooperation in the construction of a nuclear power plant in Belarus was signed in March 2011.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News