Belarusian premier orders preparations for nuclear project

30 September 2015

Andrei Kobyakov, prime minister of Belarus, has signed a decree ordering government ministries and agencies to ensure the required number of construction workers are available for the country's first nuclear power plant project, at Ostrovets.  

Issued on 25 September and published on 28 September, the decree aims to "eliminate delays to construction and installation work" so that the project remains on schedule.

The architecture and construction ministry, the energy ministry, regional and the Minsk executive committees have until 12 October to demonstrate that the required number of qualified workers have been allocated to the project. The document sets a deadline of 30 December for any risk of delays to the project to be removed.

Kobyakov has instructed his deputies, Vladimir Semashko and Anatoly Kalinin, to monitor implementation of the decree.

Operation of the first unit of the Ostrovets plant is scheduled for November 2018 and the second unit in July 2020, to give 2340 MWe net capacity on line. In December 2011 the nuclear power engineering department of the country's energy ministry submitted an application for a construction licence to state nuclear regulator Gosatomnadzor. During 2012 some site works were under way, with Russia's VNIPIET as main contractor, and excavation for the second unit started in February 2013. Construction of the first unit started in November 2013 with first structural concrete, though the full construction licence was not issued until April 2014. A construction licence for the base mat of unit 2 was issued by the ministry in February 2014. Construction of unit 2 started in May 2014, several months ahead of schedule.

Mikhail Mikhadyuk, Belarusian deputy energy minister, said in March this year he was "fully satisfied" with Russian Atomstroyexport's work on the project and construction is proceeding to schedule. Work on two reactor units is in progress and the project has sufficient funding. More than 3000 Russian and Belarusian construction workers were employed at the construction site, he said, and more are to be employed there by the end of this year.

Earlier that month, Belarus passed a law "On ratification of the protocol amending the agreement between the government of Belarus and the government of the Russian Federation on cooperation in the construction in Belarus of a nuclear power plant of 15 March 2011."

In April 2013 Russia's Atomenergomash won the tender to supply the two reactors, which will be manufactured by AEM-Technologies at the Atommash plant at Volgodonsk. Gosatomnadzor issued the State Entity Nuclear Power Plant Construction Directorate (Belarus AEC) with a licence for the construction of the first reactor at the Ostrovets site in October that year.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News