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Concrete poured on dome of second reactor building of Belarusian nuclear power plant

The dome of the external protective shell of the second reactor building of the Belarusian nuclear power plant has been enveloped in concrete, the ASE Company press service told BelTA. The company is the general designer and general contractor for the project to build the Belarusian nuclear power plant. The company represents the engineering division of the Russian state nuclear industry corporation Rosatom.

Pouring concrete on the dome of the external protective shell was one of the key events in building the nuclear power-generating unit. Concrete pouring is the final step in the construction and installation work the reactor building needs. Concrete pouring on the dome of the external protective shell began in November 2017.

“Since the dome of the external protective shell is ready, we can now start installing systems for the passive dissipation of heat via steam generators. It is a new stage in preparing the unit for startup and commissioning,” noted Vitaly Polyanin, ASE Company Vice President and supervisor of the Belarusian nuclear power plant construction project.

The design of the Belarusian nuclear power plant provides for two protective shells as part of the reactor building – an external one and an internal one. The internal one is a passive safeguard designed to prevent radioactive substances from leaving the building due to an accident. The external protective shell together with the internal one is designed to offer physical protection against natural and man-caused impact, including earthquakes and hurricanes.

Apart from that, backup power for the first unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant has been enabled in line with the design layout. Once the nuclear power plant is commissioned, two backup transformers will be able to supply power to the main installations of the first power-generating unit during scheduled repairs.

Vitaly Polyanin noted that powering up the unit via the backup transformers will allow rotating electric motors of the main circulation pumps, which operational readiness needs to be checked before hydraulic tests of the reactor unit can begin. The rotation of electric motors will begin in line with the construction schedule. Conduit pipes of the condensate-feed pipeline of the machine hall will be flushed after that.

The Belarusian nuclear power plant is being built near Ostrovets, Grodno Oblast using a Russian design featuring two VVER-1200 reactors with the total output capacity of 2,400MW. The first power-generating unit is scheduled for commissioning in 2019, with the second one to go online in 2020.