The first unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant (BelNPP) has been disconnected from the power grid and the reactor unit has been shut down, the press service of the Ministry of Energy reported on Thursday, 3 November.
According to the ministry, this was done as one of the final steps of the power startup stage of the BelNPP and equipment testing. “All the systems and equipment units are being tested. The tests will continue until 11 December,” the report reads.
Rumors about the shutdown of the reactor appeared the day before, but they were officially denied. Last Saturdays reports were coming in that the lids of the steam noise absorbers, which weigh more than 300 kg, flew into the air over 50 meters high and some were completely torn off.
Then the Ministry of Energy reacted to this with the press release. The agency did not confirm information about the emergency, stating that the steam discharge was planned, and the reactor is working and the first unit is connected to the power grid.
On 7 November, Alexander Lukashenko inaugurated the nuclear power plant in Ostrovets. However, the very next day, power generation was suspended due to the failure of voltage transformers.
On 19 November, the first power unit of the BelNPP was again connected to the power grid. However, unofficial reports soon appeared about the alleged difficulties in testing of the first power unit, which resulted in a turbine shutdown.
On 24 November, the first power unit of the BelNPP operates at 40% of the declared capacity, Belarus 1 reported. The pilot operation phase started: to reach the design capacity of 1,190 MW, they will increase and decrease it and, if necessary, stop the operation of the turbine generator.