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MINSK, March 12. /TASS/. Belarus ratified a protocol on Thursday on amending the terms of an inter-governmental agreement signed with Russia on March 15, 2011 on the construction of a nuclear power plant in the ex-Soviet republic.
The relevant document was posted on Thursday on the Belarusian government’s legal information web portal.
The protocol was adopted by the House of Representatives, the lower house of Belarus’ parliament, on February 25, 2015 and approved by the Council of the Republic, the country’s upper house, on March 2.
The document, in particular, stipulates a new timeframe for the construction of NPP units.
Belarusian Energy Minister Vladimir Potupchik earlier told the national parliament the amendments would help Russia and Belarus promptly exchange information required for developing design documentation and ensure the qualitative and timely fulfillment of measures for the creation of a physical protection system, using Russia’s state export loan for the Belarusian NPP (BelNPP) construction.
In July 2012, when Russia and Belarus signed a general contract on the BelNPP construction, both sides made a decision on commissioning the first NPP unit in 2018 and the second unit in 2020.
The same timeframe was subsequently stipulated in the Belarusian president’s order in November 2013.
Meanwhile, in January 2010, when Belarus decided on the NPP construction, the first nuclear power plant unit was expected to be commissioned in 2017 and the second unit in 2018.
The Belarusian NPP is being built under the Russian design near the settlement of Ostrovets in the Grodno region in western Belarus.
The Belarusian NPP will consist of two nuclear power units with a total capacity of 2,400 MW, using V-491 reactors. Russia’s Atomstroyexport, a subsidiary of the Russian civilian nuclear power corporation Rosatom, is the general contractor for the NPP project.
The Belarusian NPP project is largely being financed through Russia’s state export loan worth a total of up to $10 billion.