Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom, the general contractor for building the Belarusian nuclear power plant, has reported about 100 cases of COVID-19 at the construction site in Astravets.
“Positive tests [for the novel coronavirus] have been recorded at the Belarusian site; we place a high priority on this project. They [the newly infected] are are not only our employees, but also representatives of the Belarusian customer,” Rosatom CEO Alexei Likhachev said in a video message posted on the company’s website.
He called on the engineering division to strengthen quarantine measures.
“Now you are facing the busiest season, as in the coming weeks we are about to obtain a license and get ready for the physical launch. At the same time, we should protect and take care of our staff as much as we can,” Likhachev stressed.
In early April, 15 Russian workers who arrived at the nuclear power plant were hospitalised in Astravets. According to the local authorities, coronavirus cases were laboratory-confirmed.
The would-be Belarusian NPP with two VVER-1200 reactors with a total capacity of 2,400 MW is being built according to the Russian project near Astravets in Hrodna region. The first power unit is scheduled for 2020, the second second one will be launched in 2021. The public keep being concerned over the unavailability of information about everything that happens at and around the site. It is expected that the NPP will send its used nuclear fuel to Russia, but it will be stored in Belarus for about 10 years before the shipment.