Republican Unitary Enterprise

Belarusian nuclear
power plant


Administrative and laboratory building (00UYA)

Vornyany village council, 2/7

Ostrovets district, Grodno region, Republic of Belarus 231220


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The head of the Government Andrius Kubilius, who is also the representative of the conservative party “Homeland Union (Conservatives of Lithuania’’) does not exclude, that there will be organized a new referendum on building “Visaginas” nuclear power station.

ZAO AEM Technologies, a daughter enterprise of Russian OAO Atomenergomash, has won the tender to supply reactor equipment and core melt isolators for power-generating units No. 1 and 2 of the Belarusian nuclear power plant, BelTA learned from the company. The reactor installation will comprise the reactor shell, the upper module, a shaft, a baffle, a block of protective pipes, and other products. The company plans to supply a total of about 4,000 tonnes of equipment for the Belarusian nuclear station in 2013-2017. “Since the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant is ahead of schedule, we have already started fulfilling this key order. The equipment will be made by the Volgodonsk branch of AEM Technologies. It is the largest mechanical engineering factory for the nuclear power industry in Russia and the world,” said OAO Atomenergomash Director General Andrei Nikipelov. He remarked that specialists of the company had visited the construction site recently and had been impressed by the organization of the work and professional skills of Belarusian colleagues. AEM Technologies Director General Yevgeny Pakermanov said that the Volgodonsk branch of AEM Technologies has the capacity to make the equipment for the reactor island of the Belarusian nuclear station on time. The company uses unique equipment, employs qualified specialists and has a long record of making important equipment for nuclear power plants. The VVER-1200 type reactor is a batch-produced reactor system with the unit capacity of 1,200MW. With its technical and economic parameters and the safety parameters accepted by the international power industry community, the Russian design is competitive on the home and foreign markets. The same design is being used to build the Baltic nuclear station, the second Novovoronezh nuclear station, and the second Leningrad nuclear station. IAEA experts have recognized the design as one of the world’s best in safety parameters. At present AEM Technologies is busy making a reactor for the Baltic nuclear station, including internal devices, a block of protective pipes, and the upper unit. The equipment is scheduled for delivery in 2014. The branch also has a long record of making core melt isolators, the so-called traps. The factory has supplied two traps to the second Novovoronezh nuclear station and one trap to the Baltic nuclear station. A second one is being manufactured for the latter and will be shipped this year. ZAO AEM Technologies was founded in 2007 as part of OAO Atomenergomash. The daughter enterprise operates the head engineering office of AEM Technologies in Saint Petersburg, OAO Petrozavodskmash, and the branch in Volgodonsk (Atommash). The product choice grows larger all the time and now includes equipment for the nuclear industry, heat power engineering, gas, oil, and chemical industries. The company specializes in the wholesale manufacture of nuclear reactors, engineering and consulting services, including the design of the basic equipment for nuclear power plants. OAO Atomenergomash is a leading power machines manufacturer of Russia and is the mechanical engineering division of the Russian state corporation Rosatom in charge of making machines for the power industry. Atomenergomash provides effective comprehensive solutions for nuclear power industry, heat power industry, gas, oil, and chemical industries. The company unites about 30 major manufacturing, research, and engineering enterprises in Russia and other countries.
Ken Brockman, an experienced professional in nuclear energy, held senior positions at U.S. agencies and bodies engaged in designing nuclear reactors and supervising their operation. As an IAEA expert he took part in the development of international standards for nuclear reactors and nuclear cycle installations. He received the Nobel Peace Prize for his research in nuclear safety in 2005. He donated the money (over $1 million) to North African countries to build children’s recuperation facilities. At present Ken Brockman is a senior nuclear safety consultant at a company specializing on nuclear safety solutions for companies using radioactive materials. The scientist came to Gomel to mark the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. This way he wanted to demonstrate solidarity with Belarusian people. Besides, the expert has a number of friends here, including fellow scientists. There was one more reason to come to Gomel: Ken Brockman was named the Honorary Doctor of the Gomel State Medical University. A solemn ceremony of presenting a diploma, badge and certificate was held at a session of the scientific council of the university on 25 April. Following the ceremony the scientist agreed to answer questions of a BelTA journalist. Mr Brockman, let me give you my complements on receiving the title of the Honorary Doctor. My first question is: Do you have plans to cooperate with the university? This is my second visit to Gomel. Last year when I gave a lecture for students and the teaching staff of the university, I was pleasantly surprised by the knowledge and competence of the audience, though radiation safety is not their major. Back then we discussed the reasons and aftermath of the Fukushima accident. Some views and ideas that I heard were very interesting. I was also surprised by the efforts of the Belarusian government to improve the healthcare situation in the Chernobyl-affected areas. The university graduates will help local residents to overcome the consequences of the Chernobyl aftermath. Therefore an idea came to my mind to help the university improve the training of future doctors. I have plans to set up an association that will embrace doctors of sciences, representatives of the U.S. Department of Education, and medical professionals. We will send them to Gomel to build partner relations with the university. The ultimate goal is to raise the quality of training and its recognition. Next time I go to Gomel, I will bring experts with me. How are you feeling here, in Gomel? Does a specialist like you, who knows exactly what “radionuclide” stands for, have some sort of radiophobia? I feel fantastic. I love local cuisine. In general, I prefer organic food. I know that Belarusians have high standards for quality and cleanness of the local produce. It is really so. Thus, there are no phobias whatsoever and my wife who is accompanying me on this trip is collecting the local recipes so that we could cook the same dishes when we are back home, in America. How can you evaluate the programs and measures to protect the people from the Chernobyl-hit regions, from the point of view of science? So far I am not familiar with all the programs and measures that have been implemented to reduce the impact of radiation. I am planning to carefully study them in the next year or two. However, I know that one of the priorities of the President's policy is to provide maximum assistance to the people living here. And what I saw was impressive. For example, the National Center for Radiation Medicine and Human Ecology. I believe that this is the world-standard approach to dealing with radiation. Equipment, R&D, personnel, labor management, foreign specialists (we met several surgeons from other countries there), everything is great! The recuperation program for children who go abroad for 6-8 weeks deserves every praise. This is one of the most important programs. I know that many children from the Mogilev and Gomel regions spend summer vacations in the State of Georgia, about 100 miles from where I live. We will visit them in America and invite into our home. My opinion is that the Belarusian authorities are doing the right things in the development of healthcare and recovery of people. As an IAEA expert, are you familiar with the new nuclear power plant project in Belarus and how do you evaluate it in terms of safety? Thanks for a very direct question. I was involved in this project and carefully studied it from the moment when the decision was made to start building the nuclear power station. We analyzed whether it would be appropriate for Belarus. And the more information we received, the more we were inclined to give the green light to the project. First of all, we need to point out the technologies which will be used in this project. Russian technology is one of the leading technologies in the world as far as engineering is concerned. Furthermore, the level of engineering will be enhanced with the high quality computers which are to be supplied from France. These two important components will result in perfect combination. And the fact that the project will be implemented by two Slavic countries will ensure good communication unlike the situation in Iran for example where engineers have to work using 5 different languages. In my opinion the future nuclear power plant will be compliant with all current European requirements. In a word, Belarus is moving in the right direction and everything is proceeding smoothly and gradually, encountering no issues. IAEA experts have always been known for their integrity and adherence to principles. Are there any disagreements or misunderstanding between you and Belarus’ partners? I cannot recall any big disagreements over the past two years of work. Everything has been smooth. However, as in any big undertaking, there are things that require more attention. Anyway, any disagreements should be taken as a positive factor. Because they make the sides compare their positions and find a solution. The main thing here is to keep these disagreements from turning into conflicts, to keep them constructive rather than destructive. It must be said that we have one important uniting factor. Both the Belarusian authorities and IAEA aim to protect the population of the country and use this energy for the people’s benefit. I think that all possible disagreements will be successfully resolved. As for cooperation between Belarus and Russia, disputes cannot be excluded here as well. You know two brothers can fight sometimes but they always remain brothers. What is your outlook for the future of nuclear energy on the global scale? We must admit that the renaissance of nuclear energy in the early 21st century started declining after 2010. At the same time I believe that the interest in this area will be increasing. Today our major priority is to ensure environmental protection. I believe that nuclear power will keep its place in the global energy supply system for the next two decades. Nuclear power can be used only on one condition, i.e. we need to learn the lessons of history and never repeat the mistakes of the past. When we build a nuclear power plant, the first thing we should focus on is safety, and only then its economic benefits. As an RS specialist, do you think solar radiation can be an obstacle for the manned mission to Mars? I do not think that there will be any difficulty with radiation protection technologies during the mission. The question is whether we need to spend all these huge resources on the mission at all. Perhaps, we need to take care of our planet first, and only then embark on the Mars mission. If it were me to decide on the project, I would suggest “bringing order into our yard first”. Valery Sidorchik
The impossibility of radiation release into the environment in any emergency is the fundamental design feature of the Belarusian nuclear power plant. The statement was made by Mr Sergei Boyarkin, Program Director of the Capital Construction Directorate of the Russian state corporation Rosatom, at the expo and conference AtomExpo Belarus 2013 on 4 April, BelTA has learned. Sergei Boyarkin said that the Russian AES-2006 design chosen for the Belarusian station takes into account all the conclusions made after the emergency at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant and emergencies at other foreign nuclear power engineering installations. The Belarusian design is a generation-three-plus one and implements several built-in safeguards. Control over the reactor will be preserved in any situation. The approach has been implemented taking into account causes of the Chernobyl catastrophe when control over the reactor was lost. The Belarusian design utilizes heat dissipation systems in response to the Fukushima accident when nuclear fuel burnt through the reactor shell due to the inability to dissipate heat. Then radioactive materials are localized to prevent their release into the environment. “These fundamental functions are part and parcel of the design and will be secured in any circumstances,” stressed Sergei Boyarkin. As another precaution the designers were conservative in calculating the magnitude of the earthquake the power plant can survive. “The power plant is designed to survive seven points but taking into account the conservative principle you can add two to it although that magnitude is unimaginable in Belarus,” explained the Rosatom representative. The designers also used the versatility principle, which expects that there is no common factor to disable all the safeguards at the same time. “Some of the safeguards are powered by different sources, some don’t need electricity at all and utilize laws of physics to ensure solid safety,” said the representative of the corporation. While comparing the nuclear power plant designs that exist on the market today, Sergei Boyarkin remarked that the French design utilizes only active safeguards while the American one uses only passives. The Russian design AES-2006 has both. Apart from that, the design envisages the construction of the so-called reactor core trap. It is meant to prevent molten nuclear fuel to reach the environment the way it happened at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. “The trap will cool down the active molten mass so that it would not be able to burn through the protective shell. It will absorb ions to prevent a chain reaction and also absorbs excessive hydrogen to prevent an explosion like the one that happened at the Fukushima,” said Sergei Boyarkin. Today’s Rosatom is the world’s only company to offer the construction of nuclear power plants fitted with active and passive safeguards that have been tested at existing power plants, stressed the executive. “We don’t just offer 3+ generation reactors. We have references secured by the operation of Tianwan units that have passed two dozens of IAEA inspections and have been officially recognized the first units of this generation. Our corporation is really the world’s number one. No one else offers such things on the global market,” he remarked. According to the source, Rosatom is now building 28 light water-cooled and moderated reactors while 54 Russia-made reactors of the kind are used across the globe. “After the Fukushima accident all the units of ours have been subjected to stress tests using other methods in Russia (stricter than foreign ones) and foreign methods in Europe. All the power-generating units have passed these stress tests,” said Sergei Boyarkin.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko invited Armenian atomic scientists to Belarus for sharing experience in the use and safe operation of nuclear power plants as he visited the Armenian nuclear power plant on 14 May, BelTA has learnt.

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