The first power unit of the Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant has been connected to the grid and supplied electricity to the Belarus power system. The unit features Rosatom’s flagship VVER-1200 reactor, a tried and tested latest generation (III+) technology with 3 power units up and running in Russia. It is a backbone of the Rosatom export order book consisting of 36 units across 12 markets, including Finland and Hungary.
Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev said:
“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. This was made possible by the efficient long-term efforts of a large team of Belarusian and Russian specialists. 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, Belarusian NPP is a success”.
The first nuclear power plant in Belarus is based in Ostrovets, Grodno region, comprising two VVER-1200 reactors of 2.4 GW of total capacity. Currently, three reactors of this type are successfully operating in Russia: two at the Novovoronezh NPP and one at the Leningrad NPP. Once fully completed, the plant is expected to supply about 18 bn kWh of low-carbon electricity to the Belarus national grid every year.
The safety system of the plant has been fully endorsed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), 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”.
Notes to the editor:
ROSATOM is the only company in the world that has the resources and competencies to offer energy solutions across the nuclear supply chain. It possesses a wide range of assets, including assets in design, construction and operation of nuclear power stations, uranium mining, conversion and enrichment, supply of nuclear fuel, decommissioning, spent fuel storage and transportation and safe nuclear waste disposal. Rosatom is also engaged in the production of equipment and isotope products for the needs of nuclear medicine, scientific research, and materials science, the production of digital and of various nuclear and non-nuclear innovative products. The company’s strategy is to develop low-carbon power generation projects, including in the wind generation field. Today the company brings together over 300 enterprises and organizations and over 250,000 employees.
The VVER-1200 is the flagship of Rosatom’s Generation III+ PWR-type reactor and the world’s only Generation III+ design in serial construction. Currently, there are four VVER-1200-equipped power units successfully operating in Russia.
The innovative VVER-1200 reactor-equipped Generation III+ power unit has a number of advantages when compared to previous generation reactors (i.e. the VVER-1000): it is 20% more powerful, the number of personnel required to operate it has decreased by 30-40%, and its lifetime has doubled to 60 years with the possibility of a 20-year extension. Its core design has state-of-the-art safety system, including advanced cooling reliability and built-in passive safety systems with a 72-hour grace period that requires no operator intervention after shutdown.
The VVER-1200 reactor is based on pressurized water technology (PWR) which is statistically the most common and safest in the world. On PWR-based NPPs there has been no single accident causing a fatality anywhere in the world.