So far, Minsk has announced that the industrial operation of the first power unit of the power plant will start in the first quarter of this year.
“The expected acceptance deadlines are April, May. Then, after a positive opinion of the acceptance commission, industrial use will start,” Dedulis explained.
According to him, the composition of the acceptance commission will be approved by the head of government, but until then the readiness of the facilities, systems and personnel of the first power unit for the commissioning of the power plant will be assessed. According to Gosatomnadzor, a NPP operating license will be issued and submitted to the Acceptance Commission together with other documents.
The power plant, which will be built only about 30 kilometers from the Lithuanian border and 50 kilometers from Vilnius, is planned to operate two VVER-type nuclear reactors designed in Russia, each with a capacity of 1,200 megawatts. Initially, the first power unit was planned to be put into operation already in 2018, but the second – in 2020, but these deadlines were postponed. Belarus now hopes that the second reactor will start operating in the first half of 2022.
The first reactor of the NPP was started up on August 20 last year, its industrial testing was started on December 22, and on January 12 the reactor started operating at full capacity. According to the Ministry of Energy of Belarus at that time, once the rated capacity is reached, static and dynamic tests will be continued and after their successful completion, all equipment and systems will be tested at rated capacity within 15 days. On January 16, the reactor was disconnected from the Belarusian power system due to the generator protection system, but on January 21, it was switched on again.
As the deputy head of Gosatomnadzor has now said, the power unit was shut down on February 20 due to tests and planned work, which will continue for about a week.
The NPP builder is the Russian company Rosatom, and Moscow has provided a $ 10 billion loan to finance the construction.
Lithuania believes that Belarus has not complied with safety requirements when building the power plant, but Minsk rejects these allegations.
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