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Belarusian nuclear power plant's first unit's power grid disconnection explained


MINSK, 10 March (BelTA) – While talking to reporters in BelTA's press center Head of the Nuclear Safety Regulation Office of the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry (Gosatomnadzor) Vigen Marukhyan made a few comments regarding the disconnection of the first unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant from the power grid.

The official said: “A huge number of equipment and system tests are performed in the course of commissioning a nuclear power plant unit. They are performed individually and in sets using various power settings. The tests have to show results specified by the Belarusian nuclear power plant design documents. Some tests may be repeated. Disconnections from the power grid are possible.”

Vigen Marukhyan noted that the tests are necessary in order to bring the unit, its systems, and equipment into compliance with design parameters. “If they are not completed successfully, naturally the nuclear power plant cannot proceed to the next stage. Disconnections from the power grid should be accepted as part of the routine in this period,” the Gosatomnadzor stressed.

BelTA reported earlier that the first unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant will be routinely disconnected from the power grid on 10 March for the sake of studying xenon transition processes in the reactor unit. The unit's output will be reduced to the minimum controlled reactor power. The Belarusian Energy Ministry press service told BelTA the studies are necessary for evaluating neutron physics parameters of the reactor core.

The Belarusian nuclear power plant is being built near Ostrovets, Grodno Oblast using the Russian design AES-2006 featuring two VVER-1200 reactors with the total output capacity of 2,400MW.