Belarus approves power start-up of Ostrovets unit

26 October 2020

The board of the Ministry for Emergency Situations of Belarus has issued a permit for the power start-up of unit 1 of the country's first nuclear power plant, Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom announced today. Based on the resolution of the State Regulatory Authority of Belarus, the board agreed on 23 October to amend the licences of the Belorusian NPP and JSC ASE EC, allowing this work to begin, Rosatom said.

Ostrovets nuclear power plant (Image: Rosatom)

The phased process of start-up involves a gradual increase in the reactor unit’s power generating capacity from 1% to 50%, its connection to the grid at a power level of 40% and dynamic testing at a power level of 50%. This process will be completed by December, Rosatom said.

Commissioning started on 7 August, when the first assembly with fresh nuclear fuel was inserted into the reactor pressure vessel. On 11 October, at the stage of physical start-up, the reactor was brought to the minimum controlled power level (less than 1% of the rated power). In total, more than 50 physical measurements were performed during the physical start-up stage, which confirmed that the nuclear and physical characteristics of the reactor comply with design parameters, Rosatom said.

The plant, which is in Ostrovets in the Grodno region of Belarus, consists of two VVER-1200. It is the first to use this reactor outside Russia. Currently, three VVER-1200 units are in operation in Russia: two at the Novovoronezh NPP and one at the Leningrad NPP. The fourth - also at the Leningrad NPP - began grid-connected trial operation on 22 October. Rosatom also has VVER-1200 projects in Bangladesh, Egypt, Finland, Hungary and Turkey.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News