Unit to be fully commissioned in autumn of 2023
The Russian-built Belarusian-2 nuclear power plant has been connected to Belarus’ power grid and has started producing electricity, Russia’s state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom said.
Integration with the grid took place on 13 May at 40% of full power to confirm the readiness of all systems and equipment to generate electricity.
Rosatom said that in the coming days, operators will increase the reactor power to 50% and carry out a series of dynamic tests to verify that the thermal performance of the main equipment of the reactor and turbine compartments meet the design values.
After testing is complete work will proceed towards full commissioning of the plant, which is scheduled for autumn of this year.
When fully operational, the combined output of the two Belarusian plants will be about 18 billion kWh per year, which is approximately 40% of the country’s domestic electricity needs and the equivalent of 4.5 billion cubic metres of natural gas.
The first plant, Belarusian-1, became fully operational in June 2021. Construction of Belarusian-1 began in 2013 and of Belarusian-2 in 2014. Both plants are Generation III+ VVER-1200 units.
Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom is general contractor for the Belarusian nuclear station.
Rosatom said that to date, 106 nuclear power facilities of Russian design have been built around the world, of which 80 are power units with VVER-type reactors. Rosatom's international portfolio of orders includes 34 VVER units at different stages of construction in 11 countries.
The Belarusian station is near Ostrovets in western Belarus, 40 km from the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius.
Lithuanian authorities have long opposed the facility, arguing that it might not be safe. Rosatom has rejected these claims, saying the design conforms to the highest international standards.