Unit 1, Ostrovets, On Schedule For 2019 Startup

Russian nuclear power giant Rosatom said Friday that installation of the reactor internals has started at unit 1 of the Belarus nuclear power plant. Local media then reported that the first deputy director general for Operations Management at Rosatom Alexander Lokshin affirmed that the plant was on track for startup in 2019.

RosatomThe Ostrovets plant - the first nuclear power plant to be built in Belarus - consists of two VVER-1200 type reactors to give 2340 MWe net capacity. The first unit is scheduled for commissioning next year, with the second unit to be brought online in 2020, Rosatom said.

The first of the two Ostrovets units is expected to receive its initial fuel load in early 2019.  "The nuclear power plant will be ready for the delivery of the fuel early next year, roughly one month before the reactor start-up," Belarus News quoted Lokshin as saying.

Unit 1 is expected to reach first criticality in late April.  After that, "it will need roughly half a year for tested industrial use,” Lokshin said.

In early December, the switchgear assembly will be powered up. "We expect it to happen next week. We also intend to reach the stage of hydraulic testing of circulation flushing this year. It will represent virtually the beginning of the tune-up of the reactor unit's key systems,” said Lokshin.

About 8,000 construction and installation workers are working on the Belarusian project. Local companies have been assigned about 60% of the total volume of work, the newspaper said.

Unit 2, about a year behind Unit 1, is expected to go online in July 2020.

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