The second of the two VVER-1200 pressurized water reactors at Belarusian, the sole nuclear power plant in Belarus, has entered commercial operation, Russia’s state-owned atomic energy corporation Rosatom announced last week.
The Generation III+ unit achieved initial criticality in March of this year and was connected to the nation’s electricity grid in May.
Unit 1 at the plant—located in Ostrovets, a district in the Grodno region of Belarus—began commercial operation in June 2021, following its first criticality in March 2022 and connection to the grid that November.
Official words: “The up-to-date and safest VVER-1200 power unit 2 of the Belarus NPP [nuclear power plant] has been put into commercial operation,” stated Vitaly Polyanin, ASE JSC vice president and director of the Belarusian construction project, in a November 1 news release from Rosatom. (Joint-Stock Company Atomstroyexport, known as ASE JSC, is the management company of Rosatom’s engineering division.) “The Belarus NPP has become the first sign of the development of our Generation III+ technologies abroad. Both power units of the Belarus NPP supply kilowatts of energy to the national grid and have already proven their reliability. The successful and timely implementation of the nuclear power plant construction project became possible owing to the joint, well-coordinated work of Russian and Belarus specialists. I am confident that our nuclear power plant in Belarus will set an example for many potential foreign Rosatom partners. Today, the construction of VVER-1200 power units is already underway in Bangladesh, Hungary, Egypt, Turkey, and China.” (Those projects include two VVER-1200s at Rooppur in Bangladesh, two at Tianwan and two at Xudabao in China, two at Paks in Hungary, four at El Dabaa in Egypt, and four at Akkuyu in Turkey.)
A power boost for Belarus: With a capacity of 2,400 MW, the two reactors at Belarusian will be able to provide about 40 percent of the electricity needs of Belarus, according to Rosatom, “which will make the country one of the world leaders in terms of its nuclear power generation share in the overall energy mix.”