IAEA: Belarus is ready to operate its nuclear power plant
MINSK. KAZINFORM - Belarus is ready to operate the nuclear power plant, Mikhail Chudakov, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy, told the Belarus 1 TV channel on 3 March, BelTA has learned.
Belarus is hosting an Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR 3) mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The mission started working in Belarus on 24 February. On 5 March it will announce its preliminary findings. «The country is ready to operate the nuclear power plant and this plant is not bad. Belarus has done a lot to ensure the safety of construction, installation and commissioning works. It is up to the country to decide when to commission the first unit and to start fueling it,» Mikhail Chudakov said.
He went on saying that the first unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant surpassed his expectations. «All post-Fukushima measures are in place; the units will be reliable and will last long. Their design operating lifetime is 60 years, however I am confident that it will be extended up to 100 years,» he added.
Mikhail Chudakov emphasized that IAEA missions are not mandatory; it is up to a country to decide whether it wants to invite IAEA experts or not. «Belarus has the necessary research, experimental and theoretical capacities and nuclear infrastructure. We just offer recommendations based on the world's best practices. These recommendations allow fine-tuning some processes before a nuclear power plant is commissioned. They also help ensure a long, reliable and safe operation of a station,» he noted.
The Belarusian nuclear power plant is being built near Ostrovets, Grodno Oblast using a Russian design featuring two VVER-1200 reactors with the total output capacity of 2,400MW. The first unit is supposed to go online in 2020, with the second one scheduled for launch in 2021.