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Second reactor of Belarusian nuclear power plant going through hot trials

An archive photo

MINSK, 28 July (BelTA) – Hot trials of the reactor unit of the second unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant began on 27 July. The Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry (Gosatomnadzor) authorized the work, the press service of the Russian state nuclear industry corporation Rosatom told BelTA.

As part of the hot trials specialists will check the ability of the unit's primary equipment to perform at levels specified by design documents, including the unit's compliance with safe operation norms. The primary equipment and all the auxiliary systems are being tested at standard operational parameters, with the temperature of the heat transfer agent in the primary circuit of the reactor unit reaching 280C and the pressure going as far as 160 atmospheres.

ASE Company Vice President and director of the Belarusian nuclear power plant construction project Vitaly Polyanin said: “The hot trials stage will check the performance of the primary equipment and auxiliary equipment, reactor unit systems during standard operation modes. However, nuclear fuel will not be loaded. Steam will not be fed to the turbine. Electricity will not be transferred to the power grid. The key goal of this stage is to confirm the readiness of the equipment and systems for the reactor power startup and for safe operation for 60 years in compliance with the design.”

In addition to testing equipment of the primary circuit (the reactor, steam generators, main circulation pumps, the main circulation pipe, and other systems) specialists will also test safety systems, will check in-plant power supply systems, reactor control systems and safeguards.

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. A Russian Generation III+ design has been chosen for building Belarus' first nuclear power plant. The design fully meets international norms and recommendations of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The first unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant began commercial operation on 10 June 2021. It became the first nuclear energy installation of the cutting-edge III+ generation that has been built abroad using Russian technologies.