Two plants at Ostrovets will meet about 40% of Belarus’s power needs

Commercial operation of the pressurised water reactor unit near the Lithuanian border began on 1 November. Courtesy ASE.

Unit 2 of the Russia-backed Belarusian nuclear power station at Ostrovets in western Belarus has begun commercial operation, general contractor ASE said.

ASE, the engineering division of Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom, said commercial operation of the 1,110-MW VVER pressurised water reactor unit near the Lithuanian border began on 1 November.

The plant, construction of which began in 2014, was synchronised to the grid for the first time on 13 May and was brought to its design capacity on 19 June.

Belarusian-1 became the country’s first nuclear power plant to begin commercial operation in June 2021 after being connected to the grid in November 2020.

ASE said the two-unit Belarusian nuclear station is the first fully commissioned foreign project using Russia’s newest Generation III+ VVER-1200 reactors. It could operate for up to 80 years, ASE said.

Six units based on the design are in operation – four in Russia and two in Belarus. Rosatom said Russia is also building plants in Bangladesh, Hungary, Egypt, Turkey, and China.

ASE said the two units will be able to meet about 40% of Belarus’s power needs, making it one of the top countries in terms nuclear share. According to International Atomic Energy Agency data, Fance is first with a share of about 62%, followed by Slovakia and Hungary.

Rosatom said an opinion poll earlier this year showed that most Belarusians support the nuclear project with 72.8% of respondents expressing “a positive attitude”.

Date: Saturday, 04 November 2023
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