12 November 2007 President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko signed Decree No. 565 “Concerning construction of a nuclear power plant”. The document authorized preparation for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Belarus and set forth nuclear and radiation safety requirements in conformity with the recommendations of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The decree provided for the establishment of the Directorate for Nuclear Power Plant Construction under the Energy Ministry to oversee the preparation, design and exploration works. Simultaneously, the Department of Nuclear and Radiation Safety (Gosatomnadzor) was set up under the Emergencies Ministry to issue regulations and licenses to ensure safe use of nuclear energy and ionizing radiation and proper waste management.
15 January 2008 The session of the Security Council of the Republic of Belarus presided by Alexander Lukashenko made a final political decision on the construction of Belarus’ nuclear power plant.
31 January 2008 The Security Council passed Resolution No. 1 “Concerning nuclear industry development in the Republic of Belarus”. The document was signed by President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko on the same day. The resolution provided for the construction of the nuclear power plant with the capacity of 2000MW with the first power generating unit to be commissioned in 2016 and the second one in 2018.
May 2008 Belarus sent proposals to Russia, France and the United States inviting them to take part in the NPP construction project. Potential partners were asked to confirm their intention to participate in the tender to choose the contractor to build the Belarusian NPP.
June 2008 Belarusian universities announced four new majors in nuclear energy “Construction of heat and nuclear power plants”, “Steam-turbine plants of nuclear power plants”, “Physics of nuclear reactors and nuclear power units”, “Nuclear and radiation safety”.
July 2008 Rosatom officially confirmed its intention to take part in the construction of the nuclear power plant in Belarus.
July 2008 The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of Belarus sent a letter informing the Secretariat of the Espoo Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment (Espoo Convention) about its plans to build the nuclear power plant.
30 July 2008 President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko signed the Law “Concerning the use of nuclear energy”.
In September 2008 Belarus informed participants of the IAEA General Conference in Vienna about its decision to construct a nuclear power plant.
September 2008 The Nuclear Energy Department was set up at the Energy Ministry of Belarus following Council of Ministers’ Resolution No. 1330 passed on 10 September 2008. The department is responsible for implementing the state policy in the field of nuclear energy; it will ensure safe location, design, construction, commissioning, operation and decommissioning of the nuclear power plant in line with the law. The department will manage and coordinate construction and operation of the NPP and distribution of financial resources for the project. The department will also draft programs to promote nuclear energy, oversee implementation of these programs, and facilitate the development of related regulations. It will arrange and conduct events on nuclear and radiation safety and hold awareness-raising campaigns on the use of nuclear energy.
20 December 2008 The state commission tasked to choose the location of the future NPP opted for the Ostrovets site in Grodno Oblast. The choice was made after three potential sites were studied, including Ostrovets, Krasnaya Polyana and Kukshinovo. The commission approved the findings of the prospecting teams.
24 December 2008 Director of the Nuclear Energy Department of the Energy Ministry of Belarus Nikolai Grusha informed that the Russian State Nuclear Energy Corporation Rosatom will be the general contractor of the NPP project.
May 2009 The Mogilev-based Electrodvigatel plant started mass production of new types of engines for nuclear power plants. The new engines are meant for actuators of isolation valves with spindle height of 56mm and 63mm and the capacity of 0.18KW and 0.25KW respectively. They complement the lineup of engines that are already mass produced for nuclear power plants. The new engines are to be used at the Belarusian NPP.
28 May 2009 A cooperation agreement on the peaceful use of nuclear energy was signed by the Government of Russia and the Government of Belarus in Minsk.
29 May 2009 Deputy Head of the Project Management Section of the Directorate for Nuclear Power Plant Construction Sergei Galanchuk informed that the reactor design of the Saint Petersburg-based company Atomenergoproekt was chosen for the Belarusian NPP.
22 June 2009 Prime Minister of Russia Vladimir Putin informed that Russia “considers providing financial assistance” for the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant.
28 August 2009 The Council of Ministers passed Resolution No. 1116 “Concerning state program “Scientific support for nuclear industry development in the Republic of Belarus in 2009-2010 and for the period until 2020”. The Joint Institute for Power and Nuclear Research Sosny of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus was tasked to provide scientific support for the NPP project. The state program spells out the NPP construction terms at all the phases, including preparatory works, construction, commissioning, start-up and operation.
31 August 2009 The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of Belarus posted on its website the environmental impact assessment report (EIA report) on the construction and operation of the future nuclear power plant. The assessment was prepared by BelNIPIenergoprom and the Directorate for Nuclear Power Plant Construction of the Energy Ministry of Belarus. The EIA report contains information about environmental and socio-economic conditions of the region where the NPP will be located, conclusions on the compliance of the construction site with environmental requirements, NPP specifications, a tentative analysis of its environmental impact and other information.
The environmental impact assessment was carried out in line with the Belarusian legislation based on the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context and taking into consideration recommendations of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The assessment analyzed the aggregate environmental impact of existing and planned facilities located in the NPP vicinity, socio-economic and health conditions of the local population.
1 September 2009 The Council of Ministers passed Resolution No. 1125 to approve the agreement on the peaceful use of nuclear energy signed by the Government of Russia and the Government of Belarus in Minsk on 28 May 2009.
9 November 2009 The Law “Concerning amendments and addenda to some laws of the Republic of Belarus regulating the use of nuclear energy” was signed.
23 November 2009 In line with the Belarusian laws on protection of historical and cultural heritage, the Directorate for Nuclear Power Plant Construction signed an agreement with the Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences. The archeologists started exploring the NPP construction site near Ostrovets to make sure there are no historical or cultural evidence there. On 29 April 2010 the Institute of History informed that no archeological artifacts were found there.
February 2010 Upon the instruction of the Government, the Healthcare Ministry started developing new health regulations to be taken into consideration while designing and operating the Belarusian nuclear power plant.
9 March 2010 SKIF K-500 supercomputer went online at the Joint Institute for Power and Nuclear Research Sosny to provide scientific support for the construction of the nuclear power plant in Belarus.
10 March 2010 The UK company AMEC was chosen consultant to prepare the contract between Russia and Belarus.
31 March 2010 Kiev hosted public hearings on the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIA Report) of the Belarusian nuclear power plant.
29 April 2010, Deputy Chief Engineer of the Directorate for Nuclear Power Plant Construction Vadim Turkov reported that more than 200,000 people took part in the public debates on the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIA Report) of the Belarusian nuclear power plant.
10-11 May 2010 Public hearing and consultations over the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIA Report) of the Belarusian nuclear power plant were held in Vienna.
25 May 2010 Consultations on the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIA Report) of the Belarusian nuclear power plant were held in Warsaw.
18 June 2010 Minsk hosted consultations on the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIA Report) of the Belarusian nuclear power plant with the delegation of Lithuania.
14 July 2010 The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of Belarus completed state environmental assessment on the Environmental Impact Assessment Report of the future nuclear power plant. Ministry experts analyzed in detail all materials for compliance with Belarus’ national legislation in the field of environmental protection. The report was prepared taking into account the comments and suggestions of the neighboring countries. Belarus held consultations on the EIA Report with Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Austria. Documents were also sent to Russia. Experts from these countries were satisfied with the information provided by Belarus.
22-26 November 2010 Within the framework of the technical cooperation project with the International Atomic Energy Agency “Developing Human Resources and a Training System for the Nuclear Power", IAEA experts jointly with Belarusian specialists reviewed the final version of the computer teaching system for the training of the personnel involved in the nuclear power program. The consortium of CA&R Engineering GmbH (Germany) and OOO IT-Slavutich (Ukraine) presented the software for the full version of the system. The computer teaching system has been installed at the Nuclear Energy Department of the Energy Ministry, Department of Nuclear and Radiation Safety of the Emergencies Ministry, Joint Institute for Power and Nuclear Research Sosny, the Directorate for Nuclear Power Plant Construction and at four universities that offer majors in nuclear energy.
14 March 2011 Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka approved the draft intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the construction of the nuclear power plant in Belarus between the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation.
15 March 2011 The intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the construction of the nuclear power plant in Belarus was signed during the meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Union State in Minsk.
29 March 2011 President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko signed Decree No. 124 “Concerning the execution of international treaties in the field of civil liability for nuclear damage”. The document was adopted in order to ensure the Republic of Belarus honors its commitments in this area. The documents defines the government bodies responsible for the implementation of the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage, 1963, and the Protocol to amend the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage, 1997, as well as operators (operating companies) of the nuclear power plant and nuclear installations of the Joint Institute for Power and Nuclear Research Sosny of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.
April 2011 Belarus submitted the report on the progress made in meeting the requirements of the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS) to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
July 2011 The first phase of the project to build the production facilities of the Belarusian nuclear power plant, the so-called starting platform with administrative and household facilities, was commissioned.
19 July 2011 Belarus’ Energy Ministry approved the feasibility evaluation report for investment in the construction of the nuclear power plant, which includes the EIA Report.
11 October 2011 A contractual agreement on the construction of the nuclear power plant in Belarus was signed. Atomstroyexport (Russia) affiliated with the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom, and the Directorate for Nuclear Power Plant Construction (Belarus) signed the contractual agreement for the construction of power units No. 1 and No. 2 of the nuclear power plant in Belarus. On the part of the customer the contractual agreement was signed by Director of the Directorate for Nuclear Power Plant Construction Mikhail Filimonov, on the part of the contractor by President of Atomstroyexport Alexander Glukhov.
The contractual agreement defines the basic provisions of the contract for the turnkey construction of the power generating two units of the nuclear power plant with a total capacity of up to 2400MW with B-491 reactor. The document reads that the Belarusian nuclear power plant will be constructed under the full responsibility of the general contractor.
The design to build the first Belarusian nuclear power plant relies on the AES-2006 design of Saint Petersburg Research and Design Institute Atomenergoproekt.
The Belarusian nuclear power plant project complies with the existing laws and regulations in the field of nuclear power of the Russian Federation, takes into account the recommendations of the IAEA and EUR requirements. The project is characterized by high level of nuclear and radiation safety, technical and ecological safety and enhanced performance.
20 October 2011 The Belarusian Parliament ratified the agreement with Russia on cooperation in the construction of the nuclear power plant in Belarus.
25 November 2011 An intergovernmental agreement on the export loan to the Government of Belarus for the construction of the nuclear power plant was signed. It provides for the allocation of up to $10 billion to finance 90% of the NPP construction costs. At the same time, the Finance Ministry of Belarus applied to Vnesheconombank for a loan of $500 million for a period of up to 10 years to finance advance payments on this project.
21 December 2011 At the closing meeting of the autumn session Belarusian MPs ratified the intergovernmental Belarusian-Russian agreement on Russia's export loan for the NPP construction in Belarus.
26 December 2011 The Directorate for Nuclear Power Plant Construction filed the papers to the Department of Nuclear and Radiation Safety of the Emergencies Ministry of Belarus (Gosatomnadzor) to get licenses for nuclear facilities.
December 2011 Scientists of Russia and Belarus prepared the draft Union State program "Nuclear Waste". The new program spells out the technology and environment waste management requirements not only for the future nuclear power plant in Belarus but also for Russian nuclear power plants.
1 February 2012 Vnesheconombank and Belvnesheconombank signed an interbank agreement in Moscow within the framework of the agreement between the Governments of Russia and Belarus on the provision to the Government of Belarus of the state export loan for the construction of the nuclear power plant in Belarus as of 25 November 2011.
February 2012 A contract was signed on the exploration works, development of design documentation and working papers for the Belarusian nuclear power plant. The document was signed by the Directorate for Nuclear Power Plant Construction on the part of Belarus, and by the general contractors Atomstroyexport on the part of Russia.
March 2012 Micro-zonation works were conducted on the Ostrovets site. The Ostrovets ground was thoroughly surveyed; the results were submitted to the IAEA Commission. The Ostrovets site was recognized as appropriate for the construction of the nuclear power plant.
21 March 2012 The Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics opened a laboratory to train students majoring in Nuclear Power Plant Electronic Operation Systems.
30 March 2012 A contract was signed to conduct the preparatory works till “the first concrete” at the Belarusian nuclear power plant site. The document was signed by the customer, the Directorate for Nuclear Power Plant Construction on Belarus’ behalf and the general contractor, Atomstroyexport on Russia’s behalf.
31 May 2012 Belarus and Russia initialed the general contract on the Belarusian nuclear power plant construction.
31 May 2012 Belarus started working on the foundation pit for the NPP first power unit.
16-30 June 2012 The IAEA mission worked in Belarus to assess the country’s nuclear power infrastructure. The mission analyzed 19 areas of work that are essential for successful implementation of the NPP project. The mission’s report contained 17 recommendations and 25 proposals for further development of the associated infrastructure. Besides, the mission singled out 10 good practices which can be recommended for use in other countries that are building nuclear power plants. The mission praised Belarus’ progress in the implementation of the national nuclear power program, saying its results testify to the country’s overall readiness to construct the nuclear power plant.
28 June 2012 The Finance Ministry, the Energy Ministry, the Directorate for Nuclear Power Plant Construction and Bank BelVEB signed an agreement on the utilization and repayment of the state export loan provided by the Russian Federation for the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant. The agreement spells out cooperation terms and commitments of the signatories. In line with the agreement, Russia undertakes to allocate a $10 billion loan covering 90% of the cost of the services provided by Russia’s Atomstroyexport to Belarus’ Directorate for Nuclear Power Plant Construction.
10 July 2012 The Presidium of the Council of Ministers approved the draft general contract on the NPP construction.
18 July 2012 The general contract on the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant was signed in Minsk. It defined obligations and responsibilities of the sides, the schedule of the project, its estimated cost for the period until 2020, payment terms, delivery of equipment, construction management, commissioning of the power units and other conditions. The physical start-up and commissioning of the first unit is due in November 2018. The second unit is to be commissioned in July 2020. A fundamental principle of the general contract and the contractual agreement was that the NPP construction cost should be formulated using the same method applied to the construction of plants in Russia, including local prices. With this, the cost of the Belarusian nuclear power plant construction should not exceed the construction cost of the Baltic plant under comparable conditions.
9 August 2012 Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko attended the ceremony of placing a time capsule with a message addressed to future generations at the construction site of the Belarusian nuclear power plant. The head of state joined by First Vice Premier Vladimir Semashko, Grodno Oblast Governor Semyon Shapiro and First Deputy Director General of the Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation Alexander Lokshin attached a memorial plaque to the stone.
“Development of the national nuclear energy industry is a considerable step towards the enhancement of the country’s energy security, a powerful incentive for accelerating technological advance and innovation-driven development,” reads the message to the future generations, signed by the President of Belarus. Alexander Lukashenko expressed confidence that the decision to build the nuclear power plant in Belarus will allow securing rapid economic growth, improving living standards of people, and changing the life of the region.
September 2012 A public information center to monitor the environmental safety of the NPP construction project started its operation in Belarus. The center was set up by the Ecological Initiative public association in cooperation with other civil and scientific organizations. One of the priorities of the center is to monitor the works conducted on the construction site. Experts will run thematic seminars and visit the construction site to see what materials are used there. The center keeps in close contact with the Energy Ministry and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection.
17 October 2012 The Saint Petersburg-based Atomenergoproekt started the development of design documents for the Belarusian nuclear power plant. In line with the contract signed by the general contractor and Atomenergoproekt, the Russian company was to design the most important installations – the nuclear island, the turbine island, and the physical protection of the station. Apart from that, Atomenergoproekt has contracted to develop design documents for the cooling towers of Belarus’ first nuclear power plant.
13 November 2012 The Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Emergencies Ministry of Belarus (Gosatomnadzor), acting as the state nuclear regulator and licensing authority, launched its official Internet website.
12 December 2012 First Vice Premier of Belarus Vladimir Semashko chaired the ninth session of the high-level panel in charge of the Belarusian NPP construction. Partaking in the session were representatives of the Belarusian government, the Directorate for Nuclear Power Plant Construction, Atomstroyexport (the general designer of the power plant and the general contractor), Belarusian subcontractors, and the Grodno Oblast administration. Participants of the meeting examined the construction site and discussed the progress in building the manufacturing facilities and the power plant itself. Work on 62 facilities of the manufacturing facilities was in progress in 2012. Large-scale works on 29 facilities of the manufacturing base will be underway in 2013.
17 December 2012 The Saint Petersburg-based Atomenergoproekt delivered the first batch of design documents for the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant on schedule. The design documents were structured into Architectural Solutions, Constructive and Space-Planning Solutions, and Fire Safety Solutions.
December 2012 Vnesheconombank of Russia approved a $500-million loan for the construction of the Belarusian NPP.
Decree No.565 of 22 December 2012 eased control over international trade operations related to the construction of the nuclear power plant in Belarus. Under the document, the norms of Decree No.178 as of 27 March 2008 “Conducting and monitoring international trade transactions” do not apply to international trade operations conducted between the Directorate for Nuclear Power Plant Construction and the Russian company Atomstroyexport. It pertains to contracts on survey works, development of design documents and primary engineering documentation for the Belarusian nuclear power plant, execution of the works of the preparatory period up to “the first concrete” as well as the general contract to build the Belarusian nuclear power plant.
January 2013 OAO Power Machines and OAO Directorate for the Unified Procurement of Equipment for NPP signed a contract to supply major power equipment for the powerhouse hall of the Belarusian nuclear power plant. The project is estimated at over $750 million. In line with the contract, OAO Power Machines will manufacture and supply two turbine plants, including high-speed steam turbines with the capacity of 1,200 MW each, condensers and equipment of backup systems of the turbine plant, as well as two turbine-generator sets with the capacity of 1,200 MW together with the equipment of backup systems. Apart from that, specialists of OAO Power Machines will perform design and erection supervision works on the supplied equipment and will carry out guarantee tests.
1 February 2013 Rosatom Director General Sergei Kiriyenko inspected the Belarusian NPP construction site and took part in the ceremony to start the excavation of the foundation pit for the second power-generating unit. He also took part in signing the Russian-Belarusian agreement on nuclear safety. The document outlines various cooperation areas, including the development of nuclear safety infrastructure, security regulation systems, development and enhancement of the relevant legal framework taking into account IAEA requirements, development of a network of crisis centers in Belarus, personnel training. Sergei Kiriyenko stated that the Russian Federation may involve Belarusian specialists in the construction of Russian nuclear power plants, and that the parties do not rule out a possibility of building two more power units at the Belarusian nuclear power plant.
In April 2013 the concrete-mixing plant to supply concrete for the sake of building the Belarusian nuclear power plant was built in Ostrovets. The plant can turn out 180m3 of concrete per hour and it is manned by about 35-40 people. Concrete will be available in different varieties with different qualities. The plant has a lab, which is equipped with modern instruments to monitor the quality of every batch of concrete sent to the construction site. Any batch of concrete will be used only after its compliance with the project’s requirements is confirmed.
On 30 December 2013 the state institution Directorate for Nuclear Power Plant Construction was converted into the national unitary enterprise RUP Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko signed relevant decree No. 583. The document also envisages other measures to handle routine matters concerning the operation of the organization, which is the customer in the project to build the Belarusian nuclear power plant, and matters concerning the financing of the construction of the nuclear power plant and individual facilities of the power plant’s infrastructure.
On 5 February 2014 it was decided that the charter capital of the national unitary enterprise Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant will be increased in Q1 2014. The decision is laid down by executive order No. 95 issued by the Council of Ministers of Belarus on 5 February. The document authorizes the Finance Ministry to increase the enterprise’s charter capital by the equivalent of $35.995 million at the expense of the money apportioned by the central state budget for the sake of raising the state share in charter capitals (including by buying shares). The money will be spent on payments in advance as part of the general contract to build the Belarusian nuclear power plant (dated by 18 July 2012).
In April 2014 the construction of the second power-generating unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant began. Concrete was poured into the foundation slab of the second power-generating unit on 26-27 April. The work began at 11:00 on 26 April to end at 19:00 on 27 April. As much as 4,500m3 of concrete was poured using five concrete pumps.