Ostrovets unit 1 receives operating licence

03 June 2021

Unit 1 of the first nuclear power plant to be built in Belarus was yesterday issued with anĀ operating licence, the country's Ministry of Emergency Situations has announced. The licence was granted after a safety evaluation conducted by joint energy and nuclear research institute Sosny, which is part of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, and a public hearing held in April by nuclear regulator Gosatomnadzor.

(Image: Ministry of Emergency Situations of Belarus)

The physical start-up of Ostrovets 1 was started on 7 August last year and it was connected to the national grid on 3 November. On 22 December, the pilot operation phase commenced. The Russian-built VVER-1200 reached 100% of its nominal capacity for the first time on 12 January.

In a separate statement, the general contractor for the project, Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, said this "addendum" to the licence held by the State Enterprise Belarusian NPP - for the right to carry out activities in the use of nuclear energy - enables the start of commercial operation of the unit.

Rosatom describes the VVER-1200 design, of which the Ostrovets unit is the first to be built outside Russia, as "the backbone" of its export portfolio that comprises 36 units across 12 markets. Currently, four power units of this type are in operation in Russia - at the Novovoronezh and Leningrad nuclear power plants.

Fuel for a second VVER-1200 at the Ostrovets site has been delivered to the site. The loading of 'dummy' fuel assemblies began on 7 March, a prerequisite for the loading of fresh nuclear fuel into the reactor.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News