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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Russian company to build Belarusian nuclear power plant

The Russian company Atomstroyeksport will act as the contractor to build a Belarusian nuclear power plant, the press secretary of Belarusian Energy Ministry, Lyudmila Zyankovich, has told Belapan.

The BBC said that talks were held between Belarusian First Deputy Prime Minister Uladzimir Syamashka and the chief executive of the [Russian] state corporation Rosatom, Sergey Kiriyenko, in Minsk.

"As a result of the talks, the sides agreed to sign an intergovernmental accord on the peaceful use of nuclear energy between the countries in the first quarter of 2009. Having signed the document, the countries will be able to start direct talks on the contract for the turnkey construction of the first Belarusian nuclear power plant," Zyankovich noted.

During the talks, Syamashka said, "The Belarusian authorities are ready to implement the project for the nuclear plant construction, with Atomstroyeksport as the general contractor". "By agreement of the parties, it was stated in the protocol that the intergovernmental accord on the construction of nuclear plant should be worked out, agreed upon and signed in the current year," Zyankovich stressed.

(Source: Power Engineering)


Alexandra Prokopenko said...

It was actually pretty clear from the very beginning that this station will be constructed by Atomstroyexport and for Russian money - Belarus cannot afford such a project neither technically nor financially. The decision of the place - right near Lithuania and not so far from Ignalina which is about to close is actually a wise strategical placement considering the existing electric grids to Lithuania that will desperately need electricity after Ignalina closure.
Today, there are numerous protests within the country against this construction, locals are collecting signatures against this plant in Astravets. The only reason why personally I would be against this plant is that I do not trust the Belarusian authorities who will manage this facility construction and exploitation. The level of public openness and clearness on such issues as NPP in Belarus is quite low. The decisions are taken without discussions and public debate, and in case something goes wrong there is no guarantee it will be reported at all. I'm afraid, modern Belarus is pretty close to the former USSR in that sense.

Anonymous said...

From what I read Belarus is already exporting some electricity and earning a sizeable amount of cash from it. Do you know how big this project might be, and how much generation capacity Belarus currently has?

Also does your home country have coal or natural gas resources?


Anonymous said...

I found some info out on that great resource, the World Nuclear Association site. In the emerging nuclear countries they talk about Belarus.

They say the nation has an electrical generation capacity of 7 gwe. Mostly gas fired generation, with the gas imported from Russia.

The talk was of a plant of 2,000 MW capacity. Interesting there was also a bit about speculation of a further 2,000MW to be built later on.

Alexandra Prokopenko said...

If you are interested in Belarus energy structures, here is an interesting report I just found and studying http://siteresources.worldbank.org/BELARUSEXTN/Resources/BelarusEnergyReview_July2006-full.pdf

It is a report of World Bank, and shows clearly all domestic structures for 2006 (more recent reports I found cost about 200 Euro or more). One can see that Belarus does not export electricity, it covers only some local needs using facilities that run on imported fuel (gas and oil from Russia), and the rest of electricity is imported again from Russia.
The planned NPP in Astravets will have 2 blocks 1000 MWt each, first block to launch in 2016. Actually such placement is strategically very good for export to Lithuania (find Ostrovets and Ignalina on Google maps so you see how close that is). This plant is planned not only for local electricity production but also for export when Ignalina is closed. It's business guys :) and again - to a large extend a Russian business.