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Belarusian nuclear
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The Volgodonsk-based branch Atommash of the Russian company AEM Technologies sent the reactor vessel for the first power-generating unit on the way to the Belarusian nuclear power plant on 14 October, BelTA has learned.

Combined means of transportation are used to deliver the piece of equipment to the nuclear power plant. Heavy trucks will transport it to the Tsimlyansk water reservoir first. From there the vessel will be shipped by river to Veliky Novgorod. After that a specialized transporter will be used to deliver the reactor vessel by rail to Ostrovets.

Atommash is now busy making equipment for reactor compartments of the Novovoronezh nuclear power plant, the Rostov nuclear power plant, and the Belarusian nuclear power plant. Soon the enterprise will begin making equipment for the nuclear island of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant (Turkey) and the Kudankulam nuclear power plant (India).

The reactor vessel for the first power-generating unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant 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 vessel's walls are 200-400mm thick. The reactor is hermetically sealed by a lid that also bears the actuators and mechanisms meant to regulate the process and protect the reactor. The lid also contains pipe sleeves that will be used to feed cables from internal reactor control sensors.

 On the whole, AEM Technologies will make over 50 kinds of equipment for the Belarusian nuclear power plant. The list includes core catchers, reactor units, the upper unit, sets of steam generators, main circulation lines, main circulating pumps and other products. A total of over 4,000 tonnes of equipment will be made and shipped in 2013-2017.

The Belarusian nuclear power plant construction site near Ostrovets is an example to follow. The opinion was voiced by IAEA Deputy Director General Mikhail Chudakov as he met with Belarusian Deputy Energy Minister Mikhail Mikhadyuk in Vienna on 15 September, BelTA has learned.

The IAEA official said: “We are glad that Belarus vigorously cooperates with the IAEA in accordance with our programs and works to create the infrastructure in compliance with the recommendations. I’ve visited the Ostrovets site twice. It is an example to follow. The preliminary manufacturing conditions that have been created over there exceed those on many other sites I have seen.”

The IAEA Deputy Director General also stressed Belarus’ openness in implementing the nuclear energy program and the country’s devotion to all the recommendations of the agency.

In turn, during the meeting Mikhail Mikhadyuk informed the other side about the progress in implementing the project to build the Belarusian nuclear power plant, about the work that has been done and plans for the next year. He mentioned the vigorous work of the interagency commission in Belarus, revealed plans to commission the training center this year as well as the social infrastructure, which is being created around the Belarusian nuclear power plant, including home construction for the power plant’s workers. According to the Belarusian Deputy Energy Minister, they intend to fully man the power plant soon in order to get the personnel involved in the startup and commissioning operations at the end of the construction phase.

“We have hired people virtually for all the key posts in all the divisions and the management,” he said. Mikhail Mikhadyuk said that efforts to address personnel needs of the Belarusian nuclear power plant have three prongs. First, foreign specialists with a track record in the nuclear energy industry are hired for the key positions. Second, human resources from existing conventional power plants are borrowed and sent for retraining courses for the sake of getting them ready to operate the new nuclear power plant. Third, there are plans to hire young nuclear energy industry professionals, who are about to graduate from the relevant universities.

 “We are grateful to the IAEA for the attention we are getting as part of the project on technical aid for the development of human resources,” said the Belarusian Deputy Energy Minister. He also noted that in accordance with the general contract the Russian nuclear energy industry corporation Rosatom will train about 600 people and the work is already in progress.

“We understand very well that without people even good machines and a good design represent dead weight,” stressed Mikhail Mikhadyuk while speaking about training personnel for the Belarusian nuclear power plant as a top priority.

The exposition of the Belarusian nuclear power plant (BelNPP) will be presented at the 59th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that opens in Vienna on 14 September, BelTA has learned.

It is expected that attending the opening ceremony of the exposition will be head of the Belarusian delegation, Deputy Energy Minister Mikhail Mikhadyuk.

The exposition will tell about the main stages of the BelNPP project, its current phase at the construction site in Ostrovets, plans for 2016 and the development of the associated manufacturing and social infrastructure. According to head of the department on international cooperation, personnel training and information support of the Nuclear Energy Department of the Energy Ministry of Belarus Liliya Dulinets, “the main idea of the exposition is to demonstrate the implementation of our nuclear power program.” Liliya Dulinets stressed that a lot has already been done since the start of the NPP construction in Ostrovets.

“At the IAEA 59th General Conference we would like to show our latest achievements. We are building a nice city for power engineers. We also have an information center. Belarus has been implementing its program openly and transparently. We do not hide anything and strictly observe all the IAEA recommendations,” she said. According to Liliya Dulinets, Belarus will tell about the implementation of its nuclear power program as part of the IAEA’s Milestones in the Development of a National Infrastructure for Nuclear Power. “It is of great importance for the plant to operate in a reliable and safe mode. It includes personnel training, environmental aspects and many more. We have been carefully following this IAEA document,” Liliya Dulinets added.

In her words, Belarus has been currently implementing a number of technical cooperation programs with the IAEA, including two nuclear power programs. As for the cooperation with the Russian nuclear engineering corporation Rosatom, Liliya Dulinets noted that both the Belarusian and Russian sides praise the progress in the implementation of the project.

The representative of the department also stressed that the cooperation between Belarus and the IAEA includes not only nuclear power development issues but also spheres such as medicine, science, education and even agriculture. While in Vienna, the Belarusian delegation is expected to take part in open and plenary sessions, elections to the IAEA Board of Governors, different seminars and forums. The program of the visit will also include bilateral meetings and talks with Belarus' foreign counterparts.

Monday, 24 January 2022

BelNPP in Reality

BelTA’s report from Ostrovets on how they are going to make the Belarusian nuclear power plant (BelNPP) the safest in the world, why they are creating a clone of the NPP and building "secret corridors”.


Belarus is building the Russian-design AES-2006 of the three-plus generation nuclear power plant 18km away from Ostrovets.

The maximum height of each of the two units is 70m. This is slightly below the height of a 24-storey building. Evaporative cooling towers will be 167m high and will be among the tallest structures in the country.he pace of construction is optimal, says Director General of the Belarusian nuclear power plant Mikhail Filimonov. All works are on schedule. There have been no problems with the financing of the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant.

A reactor vessel, which is manufactured by the Volgodonsk-based Atommash of ZAO AEM Technologies, will be delivered to the site by the end of the year. Belarus’ most powerful hoisting crane with the lifting capacity of 1,350 tonnes will be used to put the most important element into the ‘heart’ of the first unit. After that the structure will be covered by a "nuclear cap", as the specialists of the plant call it.

The nuclear power plant will have a double containment system. There will be a corridor between the external and internal envelops to provide additional security.

The internal envelope will be 1.2m wide, surrounded by an 80cm wall.

Deputy Energy Minister Mikhail Mikhadyuk noted that such a construction (external and inner envelopes with a corridor between them) protects power-generating units from all possible natural disasters and emergencies. Even an aircraft crash is not a problem for such an ultra strong construction as the future nuclear power plant in Belarus, representatives of the BelNPP said. At present nearly 4,500 people work on the construction site of the nuclear power plant.

The workforce at the site will increase to 6,000-6,500 people by the end of the year. The personnel number will hit 8,500 in 2016-2017.

The construction of the education and training center of the Belarusian nuclear power plant will be over by the yearend. The training center will have an equipment simulator that will fully duplicate the BelNPP management tools. In fact, the NPP personnel training is done in three stages. According to Mikhail Mikhadyuk, to occupy a leading position one needs to start with a less influential job, study the ‘secrets’ of nuclear energy production and climb to the top of the job ladder in at least 8-10 years.

The first power-generating unit will become operational in November 2018, the second – in mid-2020.

As for Ostrovets which will become the town of nuclear experts in the future, large scale construction projects are in full swing there. Both social infrastructure facilities and unique objects that cannot be seen in other towns are being built in Ostrovets. By 2020 the population of the town is expected to increase almost three times to more than 30,000 people.


The construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant proceeds strictly on schedule, BelTA learned from Mikhail Filimonov, Director General of the enterprise Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant, during a tour of the nuclear power plant’s information center in Ostrovets as part of a media trip arranged for Belarusian and Russian reporters to highlight Belarus-Russia interaction in energy industry on 4 August.

Mikhail Filimonov remarked that all the operations are performed at the construction site of the Belarusian nuclear power plant in full compliance with the schedule. “By the end of the year the construction of the first power-generating unit’s reactor building will have to reach the 44 meters mark, that of the second power-generating unit will have to reach the 22 meters mark,” said the executive.

At present the construction of the external and internal protective shells of the first power-generating unit’s reactor stays at the 22 meters mark. As far as the second unit is concerned, the internal protective shell is at the 8 meters mark while the external one is at the 22 meters mark. Work is in progress to build auxiliary facilities, the control building and safety buildings of the first and second power-generating units. The construction of the facilities that the entire power plant will need continues, including in the training center and public-access manufacturing zones.

Since the beginning of the year construction workers have installed 19,100 tonnes of reinforcement bars and have poured 111,300 cubic meters of concrete as part of the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant. Since the project was launched, 68,400 tonnes of reinforcement bars has been installed and 456,300 cubic meters of concrete has been poured.

The Belarusian nuclear power plant is a project to build an AES-2006 type nuclear power plant 18km away from Ostrovets, Grodno Oblast. The Belarusian nuclear power plant will have two power-generating units with the total output capacity of up to 2,400MW (2x1,200MW). In line with the general contract for building the nuclear power plant the first power-generating unit is scheduled for commissioning in 2018, with the second one to go online in 2020.

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