The first unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant (NPP) in Ostrovets, located the Grodno region has been grid-connected to the Belarus power system to begin the supply of electricity, Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom announced on Tuesday.
Comprising two VVER-1200 reactors of 2,400 megawatts of total capacity, the plant, once fully completed, is expected to supply about 18 billion kilowatt-hours of low-carbon electricity to the Belarus national grid every year.
'The delivery of the first 'nuclear' kilowatt-hours of electric energy into Belarus's unified energy system is a historic event that marks the beginning of the republic's nuclear [power] era,' Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev was quoted as saying in a statement.
'Undoubtedly, there is still a lot of work to be done before the unit is put into commercial operation, but we can already say that, as the first Russian-designed III+ generation nuclear power plant to be built outside of Russia, the Belarusian NPP is a success,' Likhachev added.
The second unit of the plant is expected to be grid-connected next year.
According to the statement, the safety system of the plant has been fully endorsed by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which has concluded, that 'the plant's design parameters accounted for site-specific external hazards, such as earthquakes, floods and extreme weather, as well as human-induced events' and that 'measures have been taken to address challenges related to external events in light of lessons from the Fukushima Daiichi accident.'
By Firdevs Yuksel