Working trip to Ostrovets District, Grodno Oblast

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Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko paid a working visit to Ostrovets District, Grodno Oblast on 3 November.

The head of state was briefed on the completion of construction and commissioning of the Belarusian nuclear power plant (BelNPP), on the BelNPP’s integration into the country's economy and prospects of cooperation between Rosatom State Corporation and Belarus in the nuclear power industry and related high-tech areas.

Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the BelNPP Acceptance Commission Piotr Parkhomchik reported that all members of the commission had signed the act of acceptance of the second unit for commercial operation.

The head of state mentioned prospects for further cooperation with Rosatom. “I don't want you to leave Belarus,” he said to Director General of Rosatom State Corporation Alexey Likhachev.

“We don't want to leave either,” he replied.

Alexey Likhachev praised the effective work at the NPP site together with Belarusian specialists. He invited Belarus to join Rosatom's foreign construction projects: “We feel comfortable working together. We have common culture, and there is no need for interpreters in every sense of the word. We invite you to join our foreign construction projects.” He added that Belarusian companies and specialists are involved in the construction of a large nuclear power plant in Egypt, and there are agreements on their possible participation in the construction of a nuclear power plant in Hungary.

“As we expand our presence in the global market, we will be going forward hand in hand,” he assured the Belarusian side.

According to him, Russian specialists approached the NPP project in Belarus with all seriousness and will treat it the same way at the operation stage, including warranty service, provision of spare parts, repair works, personnel training and so on. “In no way claiming management and technological sovereignty, we will provide everything that will be necessary in the most convenient way,” Alexey Likhachev said.

Speaking about the commissioning of the Belarusian nuclear power plant, he said that the country joined the nuclear global elite in terms of the nuclear power production.

Talking about the prospects of nuclear power development in Belarus, the president asked Alexey Likhachev where, in his opinion, the third power unit could be located if such a need was to arise in the future.

The Rosatom head replied that there would be no problems with building another unit at the BelNPP. There is an opportunity to develop the site. “We actually consider the energy system as a very complimentary one between Russia and Belarus, if not completely unified. Here, our energy ministries, our governments should work out a plan,” he explained.

However, when making plans for the future, one should not think in terms of decades but take into account the prospects for 60-70 years, Alexey Likhachev is convinced. For example, it is already evident that electric transport will be developing further, and for this one would need to generate electricity.

“In this sense, sustainable green nuclear power is the basis for electric transport. This requires appropriate recharging stations, mechanisms. We have a lot to learn from Belarus here. You are moving forward in this regard,” the Rosatom head said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said that he had discussed with Russian President Vladimir Putin the electrification of the road from Brest to Kazan and further, i.e. the development of infrastructure for electric transport. All the more, technology in this area is advancing. “[Belarusian Energy Minister Viktor] Parkhomchik, together with your power engineers, has already learned how to recharge an electric bus on the move. It is enough for the bus to drive a kilometer and a half with lifted poles to recharge the battery. It is a great progress in general – we need to move forward,” the head of state said.

During the visit to the BelNPP the president toured the plant’s grounds and visited the second power unit control center.