72.4% Readiness of the 1st Power Unit of the Nuclear Power Plant in the Republic of Belarus

The supreme audit institutions of Russia and Belarus held a joint meeting of the Board in a video conference format.

The meeting, chaired by the heads of audit institutions – Tatiana Golikova and Leonid Anfimov, summed up the results of joint audit of the progress in implementing the intergovernmental agreement on the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant*.

In her opening speech, Tatiana Golikova, the Chairwoman of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation, stated that the construction of the Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant is a strategically important project for both Belarus and Russia. She specially mentioned that “The plant meets all international standards in the field of nuclear energy safety and environmental protection, which in confirmed by the stress tests conducted in November 2017.”

The main presentation at the meeting were made by representative of Russian and Belorussian audit institution; from the Russian side, by auditor Alexander Zhdankov.

The audit showed that the parties’ obligations under the intergovernmental agreement have been generally fulfilled.

Alexander Zhdankov noted during his speech that “By the end of 2017, under the General Contract, we disbursed $2.4 bln with the contract price of $8.7 bln. The degree of actual readiness of the first power unit was 72.4%, the second power unit, 36.3%.”

Initially, the commissioning date of the first power unit was planned in 2018; that of the second unit, in 2019. However, due to several objective reasons and by agreement of the parties, the deadlines have been revised, and currently, the commissioning of power units of the Belarusian NPP is scheduled for 2019 and 2020, respectively.

As of December 31, 2017, the use of the public credit by the Belarusian side was $2.7 bln or 26.6% of its amount. There are no arrears in the payment of interest for using the public credit. Pursuant to the terms of the Agreement, no payments for the principal debt were made in the audited period.

The Russian side fulfills its obligations to train the future staff of the Belarusian NPP. Since 2016, the training of future operational personnel of the Nuclear Power Plant has been carried out on the basis of the training center built. At the end of December 2017, 336 specialists of the Belarusian NPP have completed their theoretical training. In January 2018, more than 230 specialists completed theoretical training under various programs.

The audit revealed individual violations and shortcomings, including the Customer’s failure to meet the agreed deadlines for approving the initial maximum price of contracts – from 3 to 9 months for individual lots.

In addition, following the audit, the Board drew attention to the fact that the parties had insufficiently used the mechanism of the Joint Coordination Committee, created as part of the intergovernmental agreement to monitor its implementation and to resolve emerging issues.

Following the results of the joint Board’s meeting, it was decided to send information letters to the Rosatom State Corporation, to Atomstroyeksport, and to Belarusian NPP, Republican Unitary Enterprise.

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