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IAEA mission to assess physical security of Belarus' nuclear power plant

The next mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will asses physical protection of the Belarusian nuclear power plant (BelNPP), Aleksandr Dokuchayev, Deputy Head of the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry (Gosatomnadzor), said, BelTA learned from the ministry's website.

“In accordance with international recommendations, one of the most important ways to improve nuclear power and radiation safety infrastructure in newcomer countries is hosting various advisory missions of the IAEA. One of them is the International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) mission. Preparations are underway to host this mission in 2021,”Aleksandr Dokuchayev said. He specified that this mission is expected to come to Belarus in mid-summer.

Belarus has put together an interdepartmental working group consisting of representatives of government agencies and organizations. An initiating meeting of Belarusian experts with the IAEA, as well as a national seminar on hosting IPPAS missions and an IPPAS pre-mission were held. According to the Gosatomnadzor representative, all events were held in the format of video-conferences in view of the pandemic.

“As a result, Belarus and the IAEA agreed that the IPPAS mission would consider four thematic modules. The mission will assess the physical security of nuclear materials and installations, the physical protection system of a specific nuclear installation (the Belarusian nuclear power plant) and nuclear materials during transportation, as well as information and computer security,” Aleksandr Dokuchayev said.

The IPPAS mission in Belarus will be led by Joseph Sandoval, a staff member at the Sandia National Laboratories in the United States of America.