The first nuclear power station in Belarus, constructed with Russian assistance, will be ready by 2017 or earlier if possible, the Chairman of Russia's state-run nuclear power company Rosatom, Sergei Kirienko, said on 25 January.
Rosatom is in the final stages of contract talks for the construction of an atomic energy plant in Belarus, and both sides are interested in accelerating the work, Interfax quoted Kirienko as saying. "We will try and get it done by the end of 2016," he said at a press conference in Minsk. "We are trying to save time every way we can."
Ground preparation has been in progress for several months and actual construction will begin in September, Belarus Vice Prime Minister Mikhail Miasnikovich was quoted as saying by the press. Russian state engineers have begun drafting the station's design, despite the fact that no contract has yet been signed or money paid for the work, Kirienko said. Kirienko's announcement of acceleration of Belarus' nuclear power project came five days after Miasnikovich met in Moscow with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who said the Kremlin would provide Belarus with a $6-billion loan to finance the project. The four-reactor nuclear power station should be completed by 2025, according to Russian media reports.