Construction of unit 2 at the Ostrovets plant in Belarus is underway following the pouring of first concrete for the reactor's basemat. Both units should be in operation by 2020.

Some 4500 cubic metres of concrete was poured for unit 2's foundation in a 20-hour operation, the State Entity Nuclear Power Plant Construction Directorate (Belarus AEC) reported.

Belarus AEC deputy director general for capital projects Andrei Barkun was cited by the Belta news agency as saying, "The foundation pit has been dug and concrete bedding has been fulfilled. Work is now in progress to build the foundation for the building of the second power-generating unit." He added, "The construction of the reactor compartment has advanced far. The work is in full swing."

The Ostrovets plant will comprise two 1200 MWe AES-2006 model VVER reactors, developed by the Saint Petersburg AtomEnergoProekt. The main construction contract was awarded to AtomStroyExport in October 2011, while a $10 billion turnkey contract was finalised between Belarus and Russian state nuclear enterprise Rosatom in July 2012 for the supply of the two reactors.

First concrete was poured for the basemat of unit 1 in November 2013. The construction time for the first unit is expected to be 60 months, with the beginning of the physical start-up and commissioning of the unit due in November 2018. Commissioning of the second unit is set for July 2020.

Rosatom head Sergei Kiriyenko yesterday informed Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev that construction of the Ostrovets plant is progressing well. "The first block is on schedule, even perhaps a month ahead of schedule, while the second block there is four or five months ahead."
Source: World Nuclear News