The Astravyets Nuclear Power Plant, constructed near Belarus' border with Lithuania, is to be launched on November 7, President Alexander Lukashenko announced on Wednesday.
“I invite everyone. On 7 November, a landmark date for us, I think we will be able to visit and say that we're getting new electricity from our nuclear plant,” Lukashenko is quoted by the state-owned news agency Belta.
The nuclear plant, constructed by the Russian company Rosatom, is located some 50 kilometres from the Lithuanian capital Vilnius and has been vehemently opposed by Lithuania which says it violates safety and environmental rules.
Belarus started loading nuclear fuel into one of the two 1,200-megawatt reactors in August. The plans are to launch reactor one in November and reactor two, in about a year after that.
Lithuania has decided to boycott Belarusian electricity once the Astravyets NPP is launched. The Energy Ministry announced in early September it was close to concluding an agreement with Latvia and Estonia on them joining the boycott.