The Director General of the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom) has commented on Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s recent statement about Belarus’ allegedly being in need of another nuclear power plant.
As reported earlier, Lukashenka expressed his wish to initiate another construction during Saturday’s opening the newly-built NPP in Astravets.
“The construction of one more of our power units in Belarus or one more nuclear power plant consisting of two blocks would the best award to us. We are ready not only to help, but also to participate [in the project],” Rosatom CEO Alexei Likhachev told state-run Belarusian channel CTV.
The Astravets NPP with two reactors of total capacity of 2,400 MW was built by Rosatom using a Russian loan, to be run on its own uranium fuel. Signed in 2011, the agreement provides the Belarusian government with up to $10 bn in state export loans for the construction of the nuclear power plant.
The launch of the plant was postponed from 2018; The second power unit of the BelNPP is planned to be commissioned in 2022. The project is being brought to an end despite the protest of the public, a number of environmental organisations, some international organisations and Lithuania, whose border is several tens of kilometers from the reactors. The Lithuanian parliament even declared the station a ‘threat to national security’. In response to the production of the first kilowatt-hours in Astravets, Lithuania stopped trading in electricity with Belarus.
The Astravets NPP is the first nuclear power plant of generation III +, created according to Russian technologies outside of Russia. At the moment, in Russia itself, there are three such power units: two at the Novovoronezh NPP and one at the Leningrad NPP.