VILNIUS – The second unit of Belarus' Astravyets nuclear power plant, which was connected to the power grid last week, has no impact on the Lithuanian electricity transmission system, according to Litgrid, the system's operator.
"The Lithuanian electricity system is stable and reliable; the Astravyets nuclear power plant has no impact on electricity transmission in Lithuania," Donatas Matelionis, director of Litgrid's Power System Operations Department, told BNS in a comment.
The official said that Belarus had not informed Litgrid about the connection of the second unit.
"We were not informed about the connection of the second unit to the grid, but we recorded the start of electricity production, as we are constantly monitoring the neighboring electricity systems," he said.
Litgrid did not say how a sudden disconnection of the Astravyets plant from the grid could affect Lithuania's electricity system and its stability.
Matas Noreika, a spokesman for Litgrid, later told BNS the Astravyets NPP's 2nd unit would not have any impact on the Lithuanian system, even if the nuclear facility were suddenly disconnected from the grid.
According to the Belarusian Ministry of Energy, the 2nd unit's capacity will be increased to 100 percent of its designed capacity, but this will made before the phase of pilot industrial operation.
The second unit is planned to be put into commercial operation in October, the ministry said.
Lithuania and international experts say that the Astravyets plant's construction was carried out in flagrant violation of technological and environmental standards.
Vilnius, one of the biggest critics of the plant, which has two Russian-made reactors of almost 1.2 GW each, has repeatedly demanded that the facility be halted until all safety issues are resolved.
Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland do not buy electricity from Astravyets, but with the Baltic countries still sharing the IPS/UPS system with Russia and Belarus, physical flows of electricity continue to move between the countries.