The first reactor of the Astravyets NPP in Belarus is scheduled to launch in January 2020, Director General of the state enterprise Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant Mikhail Filimonau told reporters on Wednesday.
“The physical launch [...] is expected in January or so. Setting a definite date will be reliant on launch operations," after which the plant will be connected to the power grid, the official is quoted by the Poland-based Belarusian news agency Belsat.
Filimonau said that nuclear fuel for the first unit may be delivered by the end of 2019, according to the state-run news agency BelTA.
Vasil Palyukhovich, Director of the Nuclear Power Engineering Department of the Belarusian Energy Ministry, stressed that the exact date of the start would depend on when nuclear fuel was delivered and inspected, according to Belsat.
Meanwhile, Lithuania has held nuclear readiness drills in various parts of Lithuania, while President Gitanas Nausėda has called to move the disucssions on Astravyets from a political to a technical level.
Lithuania has been an ardent opponent to the nuclear plant under construction around 50 kilometers from Vilnius, and has claimed the plant is unsafe, an allegation Minsk denies.
Read more: Political discussions failed to rally Lithuanian neighbours against Belarusian nuclear plant