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The installation of primary equipment at the first power-generating unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant will begin by the end of 2016, BelTA learned from Vladimir Gorin, Deputy Chief Engineer for Personnel Training of the state enterprise Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant.

Plans have been made to go ahead with the main operations to build the first power-generating unit. The operations will include the installation of the reactor vessel, steam generators, and the turbine unit in addition to electric technology equipment. The construction of the main buildings of the second power-generating unit will go on. About $445 million will be spent on building the Belarusian nuclear power plant in 2016 in line with contracts signed with the Russian side.

About 42,000 tonnes of reinforcing bars will be installed and about 235,000m3 of concrete will be poured. A boiler house will be commissioned to provide heating during the construction period, the launch period, and during emergencies. Plans have been made to commission the installations to feed power for proprietary needs of the nuclear power plant. A facility to supply technical water to the power plant will be commissioned.

Power lines to feed electricity from the nuclear power plant to the national power grid will be built in line with the schedule. The training of personnel to man the nuclear power plant will be continued together with the general contractor.

Plans have been made to commission 12 residential buildings in Ostrovets with the total area of 49,500m2 for construction workers and specialists of the Belarusian nuclear power plant.

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano is expected to visit the construction site of the Belarusian nuclear power plant today. He will examine the construction site and will be made familiar with the operation of the training and education center.

Belarus intends to welcome seven assessment missions of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) before the first power-generating unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant goes online in 2018. Belarusian Deputy Energy Minister Mikhail Mikhadyuk made the statement in an interview with the Lithuanian newspaper Lietuvos Rytas, BelTA has learned.

“We tightly cooperate with the IAEA and have already welcomed a number of assessment missions. I’d like to note that Belarus is one of the few countries that have enabled public access to the IAEA’s report on evaluating the development of the nuclear energy infrastructure. This cooperation continues developing very vigorously. Before the first power-generating unit goes online we intend to welcome another seven assessment missions from the IAEA,” said Mikhail Mikhadyuk.

The next mission will arrive in October 2016 to evaluate the system of nuclear and radiation safety regulations.

The official also pointed out that the Belarusian side had done a favor to Lithuania and as a trust-building measure had asked the IAEA to send a mission to Belarus to evaluate the Site and External Events Design, the so-called SEED mission.

Apart from that the Belarusian nuclear power plant has become a member of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO). WANO will carry out partnership audits of the Belarusian nuclear power plant. Work on stress testing the Belarusian nuclear power plant has begun.

“This is why when I hear statements by Lithuanian politicians, who say Belarus must take these or those actions, I get surprised. They don’t have to demand anything since we go ahead with those actions on our own,” concluded the Belarusian Deputy Energy Minister.

As many as 60% of the required reinforcement bars have been installed and 51% of the required concrete has been poured as part of the project to build the Belarusian nuclear power plant. The information was released by Andrei Barkun, Deputy Director General, Head of the Capital Construction Office of the state enterprise Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant, during a press event on 23 March, BelTA has learned. The press event was held as part of the civil engineering expo Stroyexpo.

According to the source, since the construction process began and through March 2016 as many as 94,600 tonnes of reinforcement bars (60% of the total volume) have been installed, with 605,400m3 of concrete poured (51%). As many as 15 civil engineering companies are working at the construction site near Ostrovets, with 4,600 construction and installation personnel employed.

At present the internal protective shell of the first reactor is at the 44 meters mark while the external one is at the 35.7 meters mark. The reactor’s dome is being pre-assembled. It will be installed using a crane with the lifting capacity of 1,350 tonnes. As far as the second reactor is concerned, the internal and external protective shells have reached the 22 meters mark.

Apart from that, the construction of auxiliary facilities continues along with the construction of the facilities that will link the nuclear power plant with the national power grid.

Full-scale equipment installation at the Belarusian nuclear power plant will begin in 2016, BelTA learned from Mikhail Filimonov, Director General of the enterprise Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant, during the IAEA seminar on nuclear power infrastructure development in Vienna.

 The Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant Director General said that plans had been made to begin installing primary equipment in 2016. The primary equipment includes a reactor vessel, steam generators, and a turbine-generator set. In early 2016 full-scale construction and installation operations were in progress at 102 facilities and structures of the first and second power-generating units of the Belarusian nuclear power plant as well as general power plant facilities.

Between the time construction began and 1 January 2016 construction workers installed as much as 90,200 tonnes of reinforcement bars (56.9% of the total volume). They also poured 581,600m3 of concrete or 49.1% of the total volume. Nine companies are busy performing heating installation operations. Five companies are working on wiring operations. Another 15 civil engineering companies are employed for other operations.

The total number of workers exceeds 4,600 people. In 2015 the main milestones of the nuclear power plant construction project included the delivery of the reactor vessel for the first power-generating unit to the construction site, the installation of the core catcher for the second power-generating unit, the commissioning of the nuclear power plant’s training and education center and the set of buildings that make up the fire station.

The Director General also said that in 2017 they intend to begin startup and commissioning operations at the first power-generating unit and primary equipment installation at the second unit.

The creation of the nuclear power engineering industry in Belarus will provide additional guarantees of the country’s economic security, BelTA learned from Belarusian Deputy Energy Minister Mikhail Mikhadyuk during the IAEA high-level seminar held on 2 February to discuss the development of nuclear energy industry infrastructure.

The official said: “The creation of a nuclear power engineering industry represents a brand new intellectual and technological impulse in the national development. It will also provide additional guarantees of state independence and economic security of Belarus.” Mikhail Mikhadyuk pointed out that the nuclear power plant will be able to substitute about 5 billion m3 of natural gas every year. It will decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 7-10 million tonnes per annum.

The prime cost of electricity generated in Belarus will be reduced. The Belarusian Deputy Energy Minister stressed that Belarus’ decision on developing nuclear energy industry relies on the country’s commitment to using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in a safe and reliable manner. The annual session of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) seminar on nuclear energy infrastructure development is scheduled to take place in the IAEA HQ in Vienna on 2-5 February.

Belarus acts as the country in focus during the seminar. As part of the seminar Belarus will arrange presentations, including those meant to highlight the development of the national nuclear energy infrastructure, the establishment of the regulating body and the operating organization, and the management of the Belarusian nuclear power plant construction project. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the latest trends in the development of nuclear energy infrastructure focusing on the construction of new nuclear power plants, exchange of information and the best practices between participating countries.

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