Russia's Atomtechenergo has received a licence to provide services involving nuclear energy and sources of ionizing radiation in Belarus. The Moscow-based company is a subsidiary of Atomenergoprom, the part of state nuclear corporation Rosatom that unites Russia's civilian nuclear industry.

The licence, issued by the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry (Gosatomnadzor), will enable Atomtechenergo to work towards commissioning the first and second units of the nuclear power plant under construction in Ostrovets, in the Grodno region on Belarus.

Atomenergoprom said on 9 November that Gosatomnadzor had issued the licence on 24 October and that this corresponds to a 2010 Belarus law on licensing nuclear-related activities. It also said it had received a licence in July "to perform fire safety services". It added that its specialists are now preparing to apply for a permit to carry out "industrial safety" work.

Operation of the first unit of the Ostrovets plant is scheduled for November 2018 and the second unit in July 2020, to give 2340 MWe net capacity on line. Both are VVER-1200 units.

AEM-Technology, another Rosatom subsidiary, announced earlier this month it had shipped the reactor pressure vessel for unit 2. In March, it said it had completed assembly of the internals for unit 1 of the plant. The reactor vessel itself was shipped there in October last year.

An intergovernmental agreement between Russia and Belarus specifically on cooperation in the construction of a nuclear power plant in Belarus was signed in March 2011.

Source: World Nuclear News