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Belarus to continue vigorous cooperation with IAEA

MINSK, 18 September (BelTA) – Belarus will continue working together with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as the country implements the national nuclear energy program. Belarusian Deputy Energy Minister Mikhail Mikhadyuk made the statement during the plenary session of the 62nd session of the IAEA General Conference, which is taking place in the IAEA HQ in Vienna, Austria on 17-21 September, BelTA has learned.

Mikhail Mikhadyuk said: “Belarus supports versatile actions of the IAEA in the area of technical aid. The IAEA’s technical cooperation program is an effective mechanism for implementing the goals the IAEA charter specifies in peaceful uses of nuclear energy, in ensuring the access of interested countries to its benefits, and in enhancing international cooperation.”

Belarus shares the opinion that nuclear energy will preserve its position and development potential in the foreseeable future. The Belarusian side welcomes the steps the IAEA takes to assist the member states with creating and developing nuclear energy infrastructure.

Belarus-IAEA cooperation on the matter began in the very first days the country started implementing its national nuclear energy program. “Our country actively uses the entire spectrum of the IAEA’s instruments – from technical cooperation projects to expert missions and peer reviews,” stressed Mikhail Mikhadyuk.

For novice countries the IAEA has come up with an approach based on milestones. The approach will turn ten years this year. It represents an integrated manual on all the stages involved in the development of new nuclear energy programs. Belarus relies heavily on it. “We are convinced it is very useful in practice. We expect that a roadmap for novice countries to use IAEA instruments will be developed as part of this approach in the future,” said the deputy energy minister.

In his words, the construction of the first Belarusian nuclear power plant proceeds well. The construction work at the first unit is nearly finished. Mikhail Mikhadyuk also mentioned comprehensive and productive cooperation with the supplier country – Russia. The Belarusian experience of such interaction in the successful implementation of the nuclear energy program will be presented at another event on the sidelines of the IAEA General Conference session.

Belarus welcomes the IAEA’s growing contribution to the creation of reliable nuclear safety infrastructure all over the world. “The global demand for the IAEA’s services grows all the time. Nuclear safety continues to remain in the center of attention. The trust of the international community in peaceful nuclear energy will depend on the quality of the IAEA’s work among other things,” concluded Mikhail Mikhadyuk.

The Belarusian nuclear power plant is being built using the Russian standard Generation III+ design AES-2006 near Ostrovets, Grodno Oblast. The first power-generating unit is scheduled for commissioning in December 2019, with the second one to go online in 2020. The first batch of nuclear fuel is supposed to be delivered to the nuclear power plant by the end of 2018.