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Trial commercial operation of BelNPP first unit to start in November-December

The trial commercial operation of the first power unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant (BelNPP) is slated to start in late November-early December, BelTA learned from the press service of the Rosatom State Corporation.

“The first electricity was delivered to the country's unified power grid by the Generation III+ unit with the VVER-1200 reactor on 3 November. After that the reactor capacity was gradually increased up to 50% of its nominal value, with the necessary measurements and testing in place. The next stage – trial commercial operation with the increase of the capacity to 100% - will take place in late November - early December,” the press service said.

The Belarusian nuclear power plant uses 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. The commercial operation of the first unit is scheduled to start in Q1 2021.

The BelNPP first unit is the first operating unit with the newest Generation III+ reactor built by Russia abroad. Currently, three units of this type are successfully operated in Russia: two at the Novovoronezhskaya nuclear power plant and one at the Leningrad nuclear power plant. The fourth Generation III+ unit – unit 6 of the Leningrad nuclear power plant – was connected to the Russian energy grid on 22 October.

A unique combination of active and passive safeguards make the nuclear power plant extremely resilient to external and internal impacts. For instance, all the power-generating units are fitted with a core catcher – a device able to prevent spillage if the nuclear reactor core melts down. The units are also fitted with other passive safeguards that can operate without human guidance and without power. Apart from that, the output capacity of the reactor unit has been increased by 20%. The number of operational personnel has been reduced considerably. The designed service life of the primary equipment has been doubled from 30 years to 60 years, with an option to extend it by another 20 years.

Atomenergomash Company (the engineering division of the Rostaom state corporation) supplies key equipment for the nuclear island of the Belarusian nuclear power plant. Fuel was made by Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant (NCCP, part of TVEL Fuel Company of the Russian nuclear industry corporation Rosatom).

Tags: atomBelarusian NPP