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Belarusian nuclear power plant to help reduce dependence on imported natural gas

The launch of the Belarusian nuclear power plant will help reduce Belarus’ dependence on imported natural gas. Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Vladimir Semashko made the statement during the Atomexpo forum in Moscow on 19 June, BelTA has learned.

At present natural gas is used to generate 95% of electricity in Belarus but it is necessary to reduce this dependence and diversify sources of energy, believes Vladimir Semashko. Once the nuclear power plant near Ostrovets goes online, nuclear energy will account for 27-28% of the electricity generated in Belarus.

Russia is the main partner in natural gas deliveries and the construction of the nuclear power plant, however, it does not mean that Belarus is dependent on Russia in this area, said Vladimir Semashko. He also reminded that the Russian loan for building the Belarusian nuclear power plant had been granted on advantageous terms. “It is a long-term and cheap loan,” he said.

As far as nuclear fuel is concerned, the first load of fuel will be delivered to the Belarusian nuclear power plant from Russia. Vladimir Semashko pointed out that many countries are busy mastering the production of nuclear fuel, this is why Belarus may find other suppliers in the future.

The Belarusian nuclear power plant is built using the Russian nuclear power plant design AES-2006 18km away from Ostrovets, Grodno Oblast. The power plant will have two power-generating units, with each able to generate 1,200MW of electricity. The first unit is scheduled for commissioning in 2019, with the second one to go online in 2020.