Two hours' drive north-west from the Belarusian capital of Minsk, work is underway in building the first nuclear power plant in Republic of Belarus. Boris Paramonov, Production and Technical Department Seputy Supervisor at Belarusian NPP and WANO's Moscow Centre WIO, explains more about the new-build plant's links with WANO.
From the first stages of the plant, a question arose concerning cooperation with a respected and experienced organisation in the commissioning and operating of a nuclear power plant. WANO is this very organisation. Belarusian NPP representatives' participation in the activities conducted under Moscow Centre's guidance left no room for doubt about membership of WANO. As a result, Belarusian NPP's category one membership was approved by Moscow Centre in April 2015, and approved by the Governing Board soon after.
Boris Paramonov tells Inside WANO: "We took the technical decisions of NPP-2006 with VVER-1200 reactor type as a basis. The plant consists of two units which have a multi-unit system (reactor, turbine and auxiliary systems) with an installed nuclear capacity of 1200 Mw for each unit. The first unit will be commissioned in November 2018, with the second following in July 2020."
Company specialists have been actively participating in WANO programmes over the last two years. In June 2015, Moscow Centre and Belarusian NPP held an international seminar in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, devoted to the subject of exchanging experience when commissioning of new units. Representatives of eleven nuclear plants, representing Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish, Slovakian, Iran, Bulgarian and Finnish organisations participated in the seminar. Leading nuclear energy experts gave presentations on construction, licensing, pre-commissioning and plant operating experience.
There are more key activities awaiting the plant in the near future. In 2016 WANO and IAEA will hold a joint seminar at Belarusian NPP on the operating experience programme and WANO is also conducting Technical Support Missions as well as a pre-startup peer review which is planned for the end of the year.
Anatoly Bondar, Chief Engineer of Belarusian NPP tells Inside WANO: "Participation in WANO programmes for our 'young' plant is an invaluable experience. Holding activities at our site allows us to involve a maximum quantity of specialists. Issues concerning plant preparation for commissioning and its commissioning are currently of great interest for us. Yet we are only at the beginning of our journey called 'Belarusian NPP Operation' and we hope that we will make this journey together with WANO."