EXCLUSIVE: This Is What Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant Looks Like Right Now

The first power unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant (BelNPP) is to be launched in 2019, the second – a year later.

TUT.BY journalists visited the halls where the reactor and turbines are located.

The Belarusian nuclear power plant, which is being built near Ostrovets in the Grodno oblast, foresees construction of two independent power units.

The first power unit is a reactor building, turbine hall and auxiliary systems buildings.

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The electricity generated by the first unit will flow to the national power grid at year-end 2019.

The second power unit is planned to be set into operation a year later, in 2020.

Journalists visited the second power unit, which is less ready. One can get inside the power unit at a height of 26 meters.

At the 26-meter mark

Before entering the reactor building one can see a transport portal.

It is used to deliver the equipment of big sizes – a reactor and steam generators – to the power unit.

This is where fresh and spent nuclear fuel will be delivered. This is because it is the shortest way to the central hall, where main transportation and installation operations are performed.

In the central reactor hall ventilation units, safety systems, tanks with emergency cooling systems, tarpaulin-covered pools for spent fuel are located.

Below this level there is a reactor vessel. It was brought from the Russian Izhora plant.

Alexander Kanyuka, the head of the reactor department, lists the security systems in the protective shell.

“They are needed to preserve the reliability and efficiency of the shell, to prevent its destruction.

If an accident occurs, it is necessary to make the release of radioactive substances into the environment impossible.”

Power unit 1

At the first power unit – a reactor vessel, brought from Volgodonsk, Russia.

It is already ready and awaits control assembly, at the moment its security systems are checked.

When nuclear fuel will be brought into the power units, the area will turn into controlled access area with increased radiation.

“Only basic devices will remain here. There will be a stainless lining, so that one can safely perform deactivation and maintain normal radioactive background.

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 Sensors of radioactivity control will be everywhere. Staff will be able to see how long it is advised to stay there so that radiation doses are within normal limits,” Alexander Kanyuka said.

Turbine shop

Another important place at the nuclear power plant is the turbine shop.

The readiness of the first power unit turbine shop is approximately 90%.

This is where electricity will be generated. At the turbin island will be no increased radiation background.

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“Here is the second  in-reactor contour. The steam that goes from the steam installation to the turbine won’t contact the primary circuit coolants that circulate in the reactor plant equipment, ” the head of the turbine shop explained.

Deputy Energy Minister Mikhail Mikhadiuk is sure that the first power unit of BelNPP will start working in 2019.

At the momemnt an internal emergency plan is developed that specifies procedures for personell in handling sudden or unexpected situations.

Recently, on 23 March, the government approved an external emergency plan.

It specifies a response to radiation contamination in case of nuclear accident at BelNPP.

However, such an accident is considered almost unreal.

Source: TUT.BY