Updated at 14:52,24-02-2021

Upper tier of internal protective shell of Belarus NPP first reactor installed

Belsat.eu, photo by BelTA

The upper tier of the internal protective shell of the first power-generating unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant has been put in place, Eduard Sviryd, Head of the Information and Public Relations Department of the state enterprise Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant, told journalists.

According to the source, the work to install the upper tier of the internal protective shell of the building where the reactor of the first power-generating unit will be placed has been completed successfully, state-run news agency BelTA reports. The internal protective shell is part of the system of protective hermetically sealed shells that keeps radiation inside the reactor. The system of protective shells is designed to withstand internal pressure (5kg/cm2) and external impacts.

Discussions about the safety of the Belarusian NPP were resumed after the recent incident at the construction site.

During installation the enclosure of the future reactor fell from the height of 2 – 4 meters at the construction site of the Belarusian nuclear power plant in Astravets (Hrodna region).

At first, the Belarusian Energy Ministry declined any comment on the situation. The press office group of the company Atomstroyexport, a subsidiary of the Russian state corporation Rosatom and the general contractor at the Belarusian NPP construction, said the information about the reactor’s fall was untrue.

Later, however, the Belarusian side confirmed that the ‘emergency situation had occurred in the storage area of the reactor body during its movement in the horizontal plane’.

Lithuania’s government handed a note to the Belarusian Embassy over the incident. Vilnius also asked Brussels for involvement of the European Union in the matter. Lithuania is the main critic of the idea of the Belarusian nuclear power plant, which is only 20 km from the border and 50 km from Vilnius. Minsk rejects Lithuania’s claims, arguing that nuclear power plants will have high safety standards.

The first power unit of the Belarusian NPP is planned to be commissioned in 2018, the second one – in 2020.