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Fueling of Belarusian nuclear power plant's first reactor in progress

An archive photo

OSTROVETS DISTRICT, 7 August (BelTA) – The loading of nuclear fuel into the reactor of the first unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant began on 7 August, BelTA has learned.

The first fuel rod array has been placed inside the nuclear reactor core. Fueling continues.

Every fuel rod array contains 312 fuel elements 9mm in diameter and about 4m long. Fuel in one fuel rod array weighs 571kg.

A total of 163 fuel rod arrays will be placed inside the reactor. The necessary tests will follow.

The reactor power startup of the first unit and its connection to the national power grid are scheduled for Q4 2020.

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. The Russian state nuclear industry corporation Rosatom is the general contractor. Generation III+ reactor units boast improved technical and economic parameters. The nuclear power plant is fully compliant with safety requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In its efforts to develop nuclear energy industry, Belarus relies on cooperation tools and mechanisms that international organizations offer and interacts with the European Commission.

The launch of the Belarusian nuclear power plant will satisfy about one third of the country's demand for electricity. It will also allow substituting 4.5 billion m3 of natural gas per annum and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 7 million tonnes per year. The project will open up new opportunities for the adoption of cutting-edge technologies in energy industry, manufacturing sector, science, healthcare, education. It will also provide a stimulus for the development of electric transport.