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Russia’s Rosatom to involve European company in stress tests at Belarusian NPP

August 10, 2016, 15:37 UTC+3

Negotiations are underway

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MOSCOW, August 10. /TASS/. Russian civilian nuclear power corporation Rosatom will involve a European company in carrying out stress tests at the Belarusian nuclear power plant, the Rosatom press office reported on Wednesday.

"One of the leading European organizations specializing in a comprehensive analysis of nuclear power plants’ safety, with account taken of the post-Fukushima requirements, will be involved in carrying out stress tests. Such negotiations are currently under way," the Rosatom press office said.

Stress tests of the Belarusian NPP based on the European methodology and complying with the standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are planned to be held until the end of the year.

"Such stress tests have been held since 2011 [since the Fukushima NPP disaster] at all nuclear power facilities both in operation and under construction," the ASE press office said.

Aside from the St. Petersburg-based Atomproekt design institute, which has developed the NPP project, the stress tests will also involve Gidropress design bureau, the developer of the reactor for the NPP, and specialists of the Kurchatov Nuclear Research Center.

Atomproekt will carry out works to prepare an additional estimate of the NPP’s safety in the event of extreme external impacts exceeding maximum levels stipulated in the project. The institute’s specialists will also analyze the enhancement of the future NPP’s resistance to non-projected accidents caused by extreme external impacts. In particular, the stress tests will project the consequences of such natural factors as the combination of an earthquake, a flood, extreme weather conditions and external impacts.

Following the results of the stress tests, additional recommendations will be issued for the NPP operation and the enhancement of its resistance to extreme external impacts.

The first nuclear power plant in Belarus is being built near the city of Ostrovets in the Grodno Region with the participation of Russian specialists. The NPP will comprise two power units with an aggregate capacity of up to 2,400 MW.

Russia and Belarus also signed an agreement on the provision of Russia’s $10 billion loan for the NPP construction. The NPP’s first power unit is planned to enter service at the end of 2018 and the second unit in July 2020.

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