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Equipment airlock for second reactor of Belarusian nuclear power plant installed

The equipment airlock of the second power-generating unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant has been installed into its specified position. The airlock weighs over 230 tonnes, BelTA learned from representatives of ASE Company. The company is the general designer and general contractor for the project to build the Belarusian nuclear power plant.

With the equipment airlock in its designated position, the next step in completing the hermetic shell of the reactor building can begin, noted Vitaly Polyanin, ASE Company Vice President and supervisor of the Belarusian nuclear power plant construction project. Within the next few days specialists will get down to straining the system of prestressed metal cables, which greatly increases the strength of the internal protective shell.

The equipment airlock is a cylindrical chamber 14 meters long and over 9 meters in diameter. It is hermetically sealed on both ends. The gates of the airlock open one after another, keeping the reactor compartment properly sealed at all times. When it becomes part of the live power-generating unit, the equipment airlock will be used to transport containers with spent nuclear fuel, containers with fresh nuclear fuel, to transport all kinds of process equipment, which is needed for operating and maintaining the nuclear reactor.

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.