Belarus will begin building infrastructure for a nuclear power plant (NPP) in January 2009, First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko said at a cabinet meeting.
The final selection of the location for the NPP will be made by the end of 2008, he said.
Preparations are continuing for the construction of the NPP and for the creation of a nuclear power industry in the country, Semashko said.
The decision to build the NPP was made on January 15 at a meeting of the Security Council chaired by President Alexander Lukashenko.
The Energy Ministry, with consultation from foreign experts, has drawn up a schedule for construction of the NPP, which calls for simultaneously building two units. The first is supposed to come on line in 2018 and the second 1-2 years later, bringing the plant up to fully capacity by 2020.
This is expected to enable Belarus to reduce consumption of natural gas by 5 billion cubic meters.
Belarus is looking at two possible locations for the NPP, in Krasnopolyansk and Kukshinovsk, both of which are in the Mogilev region.
Russia, France and the United States are being considered as potential partners in the construction of the NPP. The partner will be selected in an international open tender.