The first power unit of the Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant, which features Rosatom’s VVER-1200 reactor, has been connected to the grid and supplied electricity to the Belarus power system, Russia’s state atomic corporation said on November 3.

“The launch of the Belarusian Nuclear power plant is a milestone for both Belarus and Rosatom,” Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev said. “With the first kWh of electricity supplied to the grid Belarus has become a fully-fledged member of the nuclear energy club and joined over 30 countries operating a fleet of over 440 reactors, the largest source of low-carbon electricity on our planet which helps to prevent more than 2 billion of tonnes of carbon emissions every year. From Rosatom’s perspective, it’s our first latest generation VVER-1200 project successfully completed outside Russia,” Likhachev added.

The first nuclear power plant in Belarus is based in Ostrovets, Grodno region, comprising two VVER-1200 reactors of 2.4 GW of total capacity.

Currently, four reactors of this type are successfully operating in Russia: two at the Novovoronezh NPP and two at the Leningrad NPP. Once fully completed, the plant is expected to supply about 18 bn kWh of low-carbon electricity to the Belarus national grid every year.

According to Rosatom, the safety system of the plant has been fully endorsed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has concluded, that “the plant’s design parameters accounted for site-specific external hazards, such as earthquakes, floods and extreme weather, as well as human-induced events” and that “measures have been taken to address challenges related to external events in light of lessons from the Fukushima Daiichi accident”.

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