The first unit of BelNPP in Astravets has been once again disconnected from the network. And again, this was allegedly a “scheduled” outage. A month ago, the first unit was also shut down after the generator protection system was triggered. A week later it was restarted. Why are nuclear power plants first solemnly opened and then shut down, allegedly “according to plan”?
Last year, Alyaksandr Lukashenka opened the nuclear power plant in Astravets on November 7. However, on the next day electricity generation was suspended due to the failure of voltage transformers. This outage is the third in the last three months. “There are no safe nuclear power plants,” Georgy Lepin, professor, doctor of technical sciences, is convinced:
“These units themselves are so unreliable that they constantly have to be adjusted, turned on and off… This is a common approach for nuclear power plants. Well, just think about it: what kind of power unit shuts down several times in two months? This is nonsense”.
Official Vilnius immediately spoke out against the “nuclear” neighborhood: the Belarusian NPP is located 50 kilometers from the Lithuanian capital. Belarus planned that the Baltic states would become the main importers of Belarusian electricity. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, however, have signed an agreement to block its imports from Astravets.
Despite this, according to the Lithuanian Ministry of Energy, Latvia could buy Belarusian electricity through Russia. In turn, the Latvian side explained that the import of Russian electricity to Latvia rose sharply in January, not due to the operation of the Belarusian NPP, but due to the weather.
Belenergo explained that the power plant is undergoing a phase of pilot operation, which involves a number of necessary tests. To do this, the first power unit allegedly needs to be shut down. The authorities assure that there is no danger to the environment and human life at the nuclear power plant.
The day before, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling for the suspension of the Astravets nuclear power plant due to safety issues. EU experts have completed a visit to the nuclear power plant to conduct stress tests, a report on the results should be prepared by early March.