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Permanent seismic stations to be deployed near Belarusian nuclear power plant


MINSK, 4 February (BelTA) – A permanent network of seismic stations will monitor the situation in the vicinity of the Belarusian nuclear power plant (BelNPP), Arkady Aronov, Director of the Geophysical Monitoring Center of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, said at BelTA's press center as he reviewed the implementation of the national action plan following the stress tests at BelNPP.

The national action plan provided for upgrading a seismic monitoring network and deploying permanent seismic stations. At present a temporary network is used. An upgraded network will be commissioned to monitor the geodynamic stability during the station's operation and decommissioning, Arkady Aronov said.

In his words, Belarus is located in one of the most seismically quiet zones. “However, the events of March 2011 that led to the Fukushima disaster in Japan prompted the world to revise the attitude to safety even in seismically quiet areas,” the researcher said. Therefore, the national action plan provided for the efforts to ensure seismic resistance.

One of the points of the national action plan was to study the nature of the Gudogai seismic event of 1908, which is the closest seismic event to the Belarusian nuclear power plant. This study has already been done. “It is hard to study the nature of the event that took place so long ago. More than that, this event was not registered, and the information about it is available only in one source. However, one cannot dismiss the fact that this earthquake did take place,” Arkady Aronov said.

As BelTA reported earlier, Belarus voluntarily conducted NPP stress tests in 2016-2018 in accordance with the procedure of the European Union, which analyzed in detail the resistance of the nuclear power plant to external natural influences and their combination. The document contains 23 measures with implementation deadlines from 2019 to 2025.

The Belarusian nuclear power plant is being built near Ostrovets, Grodno Oblast using the Russian design AES-2006 featuring two VVER-1200 reactors with the total output capacity of 2,400MW. The first unit was commissioned in 2021, with the second one expected to go online in H1 2022.