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Processing of Belarusian spent nuclear fuel in Russia ‘part of the deal'

Mikhail Mikhadyuk. An archive photo

The Belarusian-Russian agreement on building the Belarusian nuclear power plant provides for sending spent nuclear fuel to Russia as an option, BelTA learned from Belarusian Deputy Energy Minister Mikhail Mikhadyuk on 9 November.

The official said: “The intergovernmental agreement on building the Belarusian nuclear power plant that we signed back in 2012 stipulates that we can send spent nuclear fuel for processing [to Russia]. The agreement in principle has been signed. Working documents are being developed.”

According to the source, the Belarusian nuclear power plant project provides for technologies for processing operational nuclear waste, which will be stored on site for some time. A special facility will be built for it in line with the strategy the Belarusian government has approved. “There is one such facility in Belarus already since we get nuclear waste not only from the nuclear power plant. We get it from healthcare and other branches of the national economy and the waste is stored in the country,” he explained.

Mikhail Mikhadyuk also noted that an additional agreement to the general contract had already been signed to adjust the timeline for commissioning the Belarusian nuclear power plant.

The Belarusian nuclear power plant is built using the Russian standard Generation III+ design AES-2006 near Ostrovets, Grodno Oblast. The first power-generating unit is scheduled for commissioning in 2019, with the second one to go online in 2020.

Tags: cooperationoilRussia