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The reactor vessel for the first power-generating unit was delivered to the construction site of the Belarusian nuclear power plant on 24 December. Its installation will begin in 2016, BelTA has learned.

The reactor vessel was made by the Volgodonsk-based branch Atommash of the Russian company AEM Technologies. This piece of equipment weighs over 330 tonnes. It is 13 meters high, with the diameter as large as 4.5 meters. The reactor is a vertical cylinder with an elliptical bottom. The reactor core and the internal components will be located inside.

The manufacturer sent the product on its way on 14 October. Combined means of transportation were used to deliver the piece of equipment to the nuclear power plant. Heavy trucks transported it from the manufacturer to the Tsimlyansk water reservoir first. From there the vessel was shipped by river to Veliky Novgorod. A specialized transporter was then utilized to deliver the reactor vessel by rail to the construction site.

The manufacturing of the reactor vessel for the second power-generating unit continues. It is expected to arrive in Belarus in 2017.

The Volgodonsk-based branch of the Russian company AEM Technologies (part of Atomenergomash, the mechanical engineering division of the Russian nuclear industry corporation Rosatom) has finished welding the upper half of the reactor vessel that will become part of the second power-generating unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant, the Atomenergomash press service told BelTA.

Before the welding operation the components of the hemisphere had to be assembled with utmost precision. All the parts had to be positioned relatively to each other, with the maximum deviation of only 0.5mm. The automatic welding operation took 15 days, with the welding area constantly heated. After the welding operation the product was left inside a furnace where it was heated to 300C in order to secure the necessary mechanical properties of the metal. The welding seams have to be examined now. After that the inside surface of the hemisphere will be covered with corrosion-resistant alloys.

The reactor is a vertical cylinder with an elliptical bottom. The reactor core and the internal components will be located inside.

BelTA reported earlier that the reactor vessel for the first power-generating unit is supposed to be delivered to the construction site of the Belarusian nuclear power plant by the end of the year.

The training and education center of the Belarusian nuclear power plant is supposed to become fully operational in early 2016. The statement was made by Eduard Svirid, Head of the Information and Public Relations Department of the state enterprise Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant, during the online conference hosted by the BelTA website on 1 December.

According to Eduard Svirid, the training and education center of the Belarusian nuclear power plant will be opened soon. “I expect that it will become fully operational at the beginning of the next year,” said the specialist.

Very serious, important, and expensive equipment is being installed in the center now. Eduard Svirid noted that a mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency visited the Belarusian nuclear power plant a short while ago for the sake of testing a full-scale simulator of the power plant.

The personnel training system of the Belarusian nuclear power plant is highly prioritized as a safety and security factor. “At present our specialists are going through on-the-job training at existing nuclear power plants abroad, including in similar training centers. Once ours is commissioned, they will be able to hone their nuclear power plant operation skills using the full-scale simulator. It will help prevent errors in the future,” stressed the Head of the Information and Public Relations Department of the state enterprise Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant.

The Belarusian nuclear power plant is supposed to get an education and training center of its own several years before the power plant goes online. Eduard Svirid said that the training center’s full-scale simulator will be a 100% replica of the real nuclear power plant’s control desk. “It means that the top of the table will be the same color, the chairs will be the same, the phone will be exactly where it is on the live control desk. Even the ceiling should be exactly the way it is in the live nuclear power plant in order to let people feel as if they were at their workstations. If some button of the live control desk is designed to flash a different color as part of a repair process, the same button will act accordingly in the full-scale simulator,” explained the specialist.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) positively evaluates the training of Belarusian nuclear power plant personnel, BelTA learned from the Information and Public Relations Department of the enterprise Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant.

A group of IAEA experts visited the Belarusian nuclear power plant this week. The experts examined the system used to train the enterprise’s personnel, analyzed the academic base, and helped test a full-scale simulator in the training and education center. The IAEA specialists together with Belarusian nuclear power plant specialists tested the simulator in various modes. The IAEA invited specialists from other nuclear power plants with a huge amount of experience of working in the personnel training system and simulator construction.

Summing up results of the mission, Vitaly Kolomiyets, a technical officer of the Nuclear Energy Department of the International Atomic Energy Agency, noted that the Belarusian nuclear power plant has secured essential progress in personnel training in the last 12 months. Active work is in progress in all areas. Experienced qualified specialists are recruited. Specialists of the Belarusian nuclear power plant are given on-the-job training opportunities at other nuclear power plants. He said: “We see that responsible, knowledgeable, enterprising officers with the necessary experience and positive mood handle personnel training at the enterprise.”

As a result of the visit the IAEA experts presented their proposals and recommendations to the Belarusian side.

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