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Belarus / IAEA Praises Commitment To Safety Ahead Of Commercial Operation

By David Dalton
22 August 2019

The agency said it expects Unit 1 to start up next year
IAEA Praises Commitment To Safety Ahead Of Commercial Operation
The operator of the Belarusian nuclear power station has shown a commitment to strengthening safety ahead of the start of commercial operation of the facility’s first unit, although monitoring and supervision of the commissioning programme needs to be improved, an International Atomic Energy Agency team said.

The Pre-Operational Safety Review Team (Pre-Osart) said improved monitoring and supervision should include measures for preventing the potential intrusion of foreign objects into plant systems and components important to safety.

The team said there should be an operating experience feedback programme to ensure lessons from internal and external operating experiences are acted upon.

It also called for all activities related to development and implementation of operational programmes to be properly managed.

The team concluded an 18-day mission today at the facility in Ostrovets, about 150 km northwest of Minsk near the border with Lithuania.

There are two 1,109-MW Russian VVER-1200 pressurised water reactor units under construction at the Ostrovets site. Construction of Unit 1 began in November 2013 and of Unit 2 in April 2014.

Belarusian deputy energy minister Mikhail Mikhadyuk said recently that the physical launch of Belarusian-1 is scheduled for autumn 2019, although the IAEA said today the first unit expected to begin commercial operation next year.

Pre-Osart missions aim to assist nuclear operators in strengthening the operational safety of nuclear power plants. The missions identify areas for safety improvement by assessing proposed operational programmes against IAEA safety standards.

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