Rosatom eyes building Belarus reactors

Russian state nuclear power corporation Rosatom will take part in a tender for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Belarus, the ex-Soviet republic's energy ministry said Tuesday, according to RIA Novosti.

Bellona, 30/07-2008 Belarus plans to build a nuclear power plant with a capacity of 2,000 megawatts, with the first unit to come online in 2016, and the second in 2018. The plant is expected to have so-called Generation III water-moderated reactors.

Belarus invited Rosatom, the French-German firm Areva, and the US.-Japanese joint venture Westinghouse-Toshiba, the three main producers of nuclear equipment in the world, to participate in the tender, the agency said.

"Rosatom has officially confirmed its intention to participate," the Belarusian energy ministry said, adding that Areva had also consented to take part in the tender.

The ministry said it had not received an official response from Westinghouse.

"We have sent an offer to that company as well. We are still waiting. The deadline will expire on August 1st," the ministry said.