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Russia's Rosatom ready to replace reactor vessel at Belarus NPP

August 12, 2016, 9:36 UTC+3

Rosatom stresses it is ready to observe Minsk's demands on the issue and discuss details

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MOSCOW, August 12. /TASS/. Rosatom is ready to observe Minsk's demands regarding replacement of the reactor vessel at the Belorussian NPP, the company told TASS on Friday.

"We shall observe this requirement from the client, it is well expected for us," the company said. "We have stated we would respect this decision, since we realize the reasons, as the public approval for nuclear energy is no less priority than its security."

"We shall discuss all the details with the client," the company added.

TASS reported earlier a subcontractor was performing relocation of the reactor vessel at night from July 9 to 10, 2016. The work was performed outside the reactor building. The subcontractor deviated from the instruction when slinging the load and it became lopsided as a result.

The incident did not cause any damage to equipment and the reactor vessel can be used in construction, Rosatom said earlier. At the same time, Russia is ready to replace equipment if Belarus makes such a request, it added.

On August 11, Belarus’ Energy Ministry told TASS the interdepartmental commission for construction of Belarus Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) made a decision to replace the reactor vessel of the first power unit and sent a relevant notice to the Russian side.

The Belarusian NPP is being built in the city of Ostrovets in the Grodno region. Its first unit is scheduled to be commissioned in 2018. The second unit will be commissioned in 2020. Total capacity of the plant will be up to 2,400 MW. Lithuania has been demonstrating concern of this project as the would-be nuclear plant is located 50 kilometers away from its capital city of Vilnius. The Lithuanian authorities say that Minsk has not provided convincing assessment of possible environmental impacts of the nuclear plant and has deviated from international nuclear safety standards.

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