The Ostrovets nuclear power plant is the first nuclear power project in Belarus. Image courtesy of State Enterprise “Belarusian NPP”
Atomstroyexport (ASE), a subsidiary of Rosatom, is the general contractor for the Belarusian nuclear power plant project. Image courtesy of State Enterprise “Belarusian NPP”
The 2.4GW facility will be equipped with two Russian VVER-1200 reactors. Image courtesy of State Enterprise “Belarusian NPP”

The Belarusian nuclear power plant, also known as the Ostrovets nuclear power project, is the country’s first nuclear power facility being built near Ostrovets, Belarus.

The 2.4GW facility will comprise two Russian-built VVER-1200 pressurised water reactor (PWR) units of 1.2GW capacity each.

The project is being implemented by the Directorate for Construction of Nuclear Power Plant, which was reorganised into the Republican Unitary Enterprise “Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant” (State Enterprise “Belarusian NPP”) in accordance with the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus in December 2013.

The £8.5bn ($11bn) Belarusian nuclear power project is being developed under an intergovernmental agreement signed between the Belarusian government and the Russian Federation in 2011.

The construction on the first unit of the Belarusian NPP was started in November 2013, while the fuel loading was started in August 2020 with the start of commercial operations expected by the end of 2020.

The construction on unit two is currently underway with commissioning expected in 2022.

Location and site details

The Belarusian NPP is being developed in a 449,94ha-site, approximately 18km away from Ostrovets, in Grodno Oblast, Belarus.

Ostrovets nuclear power plant make-up

The Belarusian NPP  will be equipped with two third-generation VVER-1200 pressurised water reactors (AES-2006) supplied by Rosatom. Similar reactors are also being used at the Leningradskaya NPP-2 in Russia.

Each reactor core of the Belarusian NPP will be loaded with a total of 163 fuel assemblies with each assembly comprising 312 fuel elements of 9mm-diameter and 4m of height.

The turbine building for each power unit will be 121m-long, 51m-wide, and 37m-high, and the plant also uses the Russian-design cooling towers for each unit.

Project financing

The Russian Federation agreed to provide a sovereign export loan covering 90% of the total project cost in 2011. Russia’s economic development institution VEB committed approximately £320m ($500m) for the project.

Power transmission

The electricity generated by the 2.4GW Ostrovets nuclear power plant is expected to meet approximately 25% of the total electricity needs of Belarus.

The power output of the facility is planned to be transmitted through seven transmission lines connected to the 330kV switchgear of the NPP.

Out of the seven transmission lines, five are already completed while the remaining two are currently under development.

The latest transmission line to be completed is the 330kV Belarusian NPP-Stolbtsy line connecting the Stolbtsy substation that was commissioned in May 2020.

Contractors involved

Atomstroyexport (ASE), a subsidiary of Rosatom, is the general contractor for the Belarusian nuclear power plant project.

Atomenergomash, another subsidiary of Rosatom, was contracted for the supply of two reactors along with the molten core catcher for both the units.

AEM Technologies was subcontracted to manufacture the reactor vessels, core catcher, reactor shafts, reflection shields, the block of protective pipes, and related equipment for the project.

OJSC Power Machines was contracted for the design, manufacture, and supply of steam turbines along with turbo generators, while MTU Friedrichshafen, a subsidiary of Rolls Royce, won the order to supply ten emergency diesel gensets (EDGs) for the project.

KPA Unicon was contracted to supply its Unicon SF-40 steam boilers for the power plant.

Ganz Engineering and Energy Production Machinery received the order to supply its BPC-1800 type pumps for the plant’s water circulation system, while OMZ Group’s Izhorskiye Zavody was contracted to provide the pressure compensation valves and main circulation lines.

AGAT Control Systems, a subsidiary of Geoinformation Control Systems, is the main automatisation contractor for the project.

The other contractors engaged in the project include OAO NIKIET, Atomenergoproject, OMZ-Special Steels, and Belarus’ Joint Institute for Power and Nuclear Research, Sosny.