There are plans to start installing the reactor pressure vessel by the end of the year.
The reactor pressure vessel for the second unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant has been successfully delivered to the construction site, state-run news agency BelTA reports with reference to the Information and Public Relations Department of the state enterprise Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant.
The reactor, a vertical cylinder with an elliptical bottom, is covered by a hermetically sealing lid on top. The reactor core and the in-vessel components are located inside.
The reactor pressure vessel and all the four steam generators of the first power-generating unit have already been installed.
As reported in the summer of 2016, during installation the enclosure of the future reactor fell from the height of 2 – 4 meters at the construction site of the Belarusian nuclear power plant in Astravets (Hrodna region).
At first, the Belarusian Energy Ministry declined any comment on the situation. The press office group of the company Atomstroyexport, a subsidiary of the Russian state corporation Rosatom and the general contractor at the Belarusian NPP construction, said the information about the reactor’s fall was untrue.
Later, however, the Belarusian side confirmed that the ‘emergency situation had occurred in the storage area of the reactor body during its movement in the horizontal plane’.
“Even if the reactor vessel has suffered the slightest bit of damage, we should get rid of it. And Russians say that if we reject this one, they will bring another. And that’s the end of the story,” Belarusian president Alyaksandr Lukashenka stressed.
A new reactor vessel for Belarusian NPP was spotted in a transportation incident in December, 2016. According to official information, during the vessel transportation, at the ‘Slaunaye’ station, the reactor vessel for nuclear power plant came in a light contact with a utility pole.
The NPP first power-generating unit is scheduled for commissioning in 2019, 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.
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 Lthuania’s claims, arguing that nuclear power plants will have high safety standards.