Ensreg returns to Ostrovets

31 August 2021

The European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (Ensreg) has started its second review at Belarus' Ostrovets nuclear power plant. Experts from eight European countries will spend three days verifying that recommended safety improvements have been carried out.

The Ensreg team at Ostrovets (Image: Ostrovets)

The improvements stem from a 'stress test' analysis of the kind carried out at power plants all over Europe after the accident at Fukushima Daiichi in Japan in March 2011. Belarusian operators of the Ostrovets power plant started the process in 2016 and in 2018 received feedback after an Ensreg visit, resulting in a National Action Plan detailing 23 areas for improvement at the facility, which had not yet started up.

In March Ensreg members approved a preliminary report on Ostrovets' progress in implementing the plan, based on a visit in February. It said that based on the information made available and the site visit that progress had been made in implementing all recommendations related to seven issues flagged as higher priority.

Ostrovets management said the current visit would run from 31 August to 2 September and would focus on three areas: external hazards, loss of power supply and ultimate heat sink and severe accident management.

The Ensreg team of 15 is chaired by Petteri Tiippana, the director general of the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority. Its members come from the nuclear safety organisations of Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Switzerland and Ukraine.

The Ostrovets plant consists of two VVER-1200 reactors with a total capacity of 2400 MWe. Rosatom describes the VVER-1200 design, of which the Ostrovets unit is the first to be built outside Russia. Unit 1 was connected to the grid in November last year and loading of 'dummy' fuel assemblies began at unit 2 in March this year.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News