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Readiness of Belarusian nuclear power plant to receive nuclear fuel verified

Cooling towers of the Belarusian nuclear power plant. An archive photo

MINSK, 20 March (BelTA) – The Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry (Gosatomnadzor) has finished examining the readiness of the Belarusian nuclear power plant for receiving fresh nuclear fuel, Gosatomnadzor representatives told BelTA.

A Gosatomnadzor commission made sure the state enterprise Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant is capable of organizing the safe reception and storage of nuclear fuel at the site.

Since the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recommends constant work to raise the level of safety as much as possible, the Gosatomnadzor commission formulated the relevant requirements and proposals for the nuclear power plant management. Among other things the enterprise is encouraged to organize an exercise to practice following the enterprise's internal emergency response plan before fuel is delivered. Documents regulating radiation control of the personnel are supposed to be adjusted. Gosatomnadzor will check whether the proposals are implemented before fuel is delivered.

The inspection began on 17 February to evaluate the readiness of the nuclear power plant for receiving fuel and to evaluate the compliance of the organizational and technical decisions made by the state enterprise Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant with regulations in the area of nuclear and radiation safety.

The Gosatomnadzor commission examined the readiness of the enterprise in ten question pools. Over 230 documents were examined that confirm the technical readiness of the transportation and process equipment, systems and components of importance for the safety of the nuclear power plant. The preparedness of the nuclear power plant personnel for handling fresh nuclear fuel in a safely manner was also examined.

The actual readiness of the relevant equipment was checked, including taking into account results of previous inspections during manufacturing, shipment, installation, testing, and trials of the systems.

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 2020, with the second one to go online in 2021.