Another nuclear reactor for Astravets NPP to be delivered in September

The second reactor for the Astravets nuclear power plant will be delivered to Belarus from Russia In September, Deputy Energy Minister Mikhail Mikhadzyuk said on Wednesday.

Its installation will be started before the end of the year.

As for the first nuclear reactor, pressure vessel and all four steam generators have been already installed. Ends of the main circulation pipe welding the first unit.

The NPP first power-generating unit is scheduled for commissioning in 2018, the second one – in 2020. The construction of two nuclear reactors is provided in the agreement reached by Belarus and Russia, the reactors being supplied by Atomstroyexport, Russia.

According to Mikhadyuk, about $2.7 bn have been spent on the construction of the Belarusian NPP. The Russian side granted a state export credit of up to $10 bn to finance 90% of the costs for the construction of the nuclear power plant. Radioactive waste of the nuclear power plant in Astravets will be stored in the territory of Belarus. A proper storage facility is being developed.

The project faced opposition at home and abroad on both safety and political grounds. Lithuania is the main critic of the idea of the Belarusian nuclear power plant, which is only 20 km from the border and 50 km from Vilnius. Minsk rejects Lithuania’s claims, arguing that nuclear power plants will have high safety standards. Vilnius asked Brussels for involvement of the European Union in the matter.

On 8 April 2016, there was a collapse of the structural frame of the would-be nuclear service building at Astravets NPP, of which was informed in early May.

At first, the authorities denied our report saying that there had not been any incidents at the construction site. State-run mass media remained silent as well. After the publication Lithuania summoned Belarus’ ambassador and handed him a diplomatic note demanding explanation over the incident.

As reported earlier, during the installation the enclosure of the future reactor fell from the height of 2 – 4 meters at the construction site of the Belarusian NPP in Astravets.

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