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MINSK, November 10 (Itar-Tass) — Belarus and Russia plan to sign top-priority technical contracts to build a nuclear power plant in December 2011, chief of the NPP construction directorate Mikhail Filimonov told reporters on Thursday.
“Atomstroiexport (ASE) has been actively preparing the top priority contracts. We plan to sign the contract on the engineering design and some other priorities at the end of 2011, in December,” he said.
He also informed that the general contract will be signed by the end of the first quarter of 2012.
According to Mikhail Filimonov, Belarus has almost completed all preparatory work prior to the start of the nuclear power plant construction. “The works on the NPP site will be developed after the conclusion of the contract, but we will perform the work that we can do ourselves,” he said.
Filimonov said that all communications have already been connected to the site and the vertical planning made. The work at the site will be launched in 2012. The work on the future site of the plant’s reactor building will be done in the first place. “The launch schedule has been determined and complied with. The construction will take five years, that is the commissioning of the first power unit will take place in 2017, the second - in 2018,” Mikhail Filimonov said.
Journalists were told that Belarus will build housing, utilities and social infrastructure for future nuclear power plant using its own resources. A total of 230 billion roubles (about 26.4 million US dollars) is planned to be allocated from the budget for the construction of the NPP infrastructure in 2012.
To date, the automobile road and railway have been built and the construction of the town for power engineers has been started. Two houses with 118 and 119 apartments have already been built.
On 12 November 2007, a decree defining the organisations responsible for preparing the construction of the nuclear power plant was signed. In accordance with the decree, a Directorate for the Construction of a Nuclear Power Plant was established under the Ministry of Energy. This directorate oversees the preparation, design and exploration works. The Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department, part of the Emergencies Ministry, is acting as the state nuclear regulator and licensing authority. Scientific support for the project is provided by the United Power & Nuclear Research Institute Sosny of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. Belnipienergoprom, a state-owned company, is the general designer of the plant and operates as the project management company, negotiating and signing contracts with suppliers, carrying out feasibility studies and preparing tender documents.
On 28 November 2008 the Government of the Republic of Belarus applied to the Government of the Russian Federation with a message where it was noted that the Belarusian specialists give preference to the Russian NPP project and offered to start implementing this project. On 28 May 2009 in Minsk, during the meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Union State an Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of Belarus on cooperation in the field of peaceful uses of atomic energy was signed, according to Atomstroiexport.
On March 15, 2011 Minsk witnessed a meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Federal State, which resulted in signing an Agreement between the Governments of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus on cooperation in the construction of a nuclear power plant. The document was signed by Sergei Kiriyenko, Head of the State Corporation Rosatom, and Alexander Ozerets, Minister of Energy of the Republic of Belarus. Unit No.1 is scheduled for commissioning in 2017, and Unit No. 2 - in 2018.
In the Republic of Belarus two power units with total capacity of up to 2400 (2х1200) МW will be built. Responsibilities of the general contractor are fulfilled by JSC Atomstroiexport. It is stipulated that the Belarusian NPP will be constructed on the terms of full responsibility of the general contractor. “NPP-2006” project of JSC “SPb “Atomenergoproyekt” was chosen for the construction of the first Belarusian NPP. The Belarusian NPP project complies with IAEA international acts and recommendations, as having improved safety characteristics and technical-economic performance. The main feature of the Russian project is a high protection level provided by means of independent channels of active and passive safety systems.
Atomstroiexport is the RF nuclear power equipment and service export monopoly. It belongs to Atomenergoprom holding with 49.8 percent of shares owned by Gazprombank. The CEO of Atomstroiexport is Sergei Shmatko.
The Russian nuclear vendor is building the first reactor power unit in Iranian Bushehr nuclear power plant located 400 kilometres (250 mi) southwest of Tehran under a US$1 billion contract signed in 1995. In 2007, ASE signed a memorandum of understanding with Ciner Insaat Ticaret ve Sanayi to promote its VVER-design pressurized water reactors in Turkey. In Bangladesh, proposals have been prepared to resurrect the potential Roppur nuclear power plant. In the UK, ASE would consider partnering with a Western manufacturer for a new UK builder. In Morocco, ASE is considering participation in construction of a nuclear power plant at Sidi Boulbra.