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    Belarus Confirms Decision to Replace Fallen Belarusian NPP Reactor Shell

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    The Belarusian Emergency Situation Ministry's Department for Nuclear and Radiation Safety (Gosatomnadzor) has received the confirmation on an official decision to replace the shell of a Belarusian nuclear power plant (NPP) reactor that earlier fell from a crane, Gosatomnadzor representative Oleg Sobolev told Sputnik on Thursday.

    MINSK (Sputnik) — The Belarusian NPP is currently being jointly built by Belarus and Russia's Rosatom state atomic energy corporation and is set to become the country's first nuclear plant. Earlier in the day, Belarusian Energy Minister Vladimir Potupchik said that the Belarusian side had decided to replace the shell but had not yet prepared the official documents.

    "The regulating body has received the confirmation of the decision to replace the shell of the Belarusian NPP N1 reactor," Sobolev said.

    The government made the decision after considering Gosatomnadzor's earlier recommendation against using the reactor, he added.

    An accident occurred on July 9 at the plant's construction site when a nuclear reactor fell several feet from a crane. Rosatom’s First Deputy CEO for Operations Management Alexander Lokshin denied reports about any damage of the shell of the reactor. The company, however, said it can replace it at the cost of a delayed schedule. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said that the country would reject Rosatom's reactor if a single scratch was discovered on the shell.

    The 2,400-megawatt reactor is intended for one of the two power units of the Belarusian NPP, located on the border with Lithuania. The first power unit is expected to go online in 2018, the second in 2020.


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