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Belarus eager to welcome IAEA's IPPAS mission this summer

Aleksandr Dokuchayev

MINSK, 27 January (BelTA) – Belarus intends to welcome an International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in summer 2021, BelTA learned from Aleksandr Dokuchayev, Head of the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry (Gosatomnadzor), on 27 January.

The official said that a mission to review the physical security of nuclear materials is supposed to take place this year. A preparatory stage of this mission will take place next week. The mission itself is scheduled for late June – early July 2021. “Apart from that, we expect to welcome a post-mission of the IAEA's Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS),” Aleksandr Dokuchayev said.

In his words, an Emergency Preparedness Review (EPREV) Service post-mission is supposed to take place in 2022.

The Gosatomnadzor representative specified that the post-missions are supposed to evaluate how Belarus has implemented the proposals and recommendations, which were put forward as a result of the main missions. “As a rule, we fulfill everything on time, no lagging behind anywhere. The country's work is rather highly thought of,” the official noted.

Positive practices that can be used by other countries are identified as a result of IAEA missions. For example, during an IRRS mission to Belarus the experts pointed out coordinated activities as a positive practice. In particular, an interagency commission had been set up to coordinate the main efforts to build the Belarusian nuclear power plant and oversee the implementation of instructions. An interagency working group on coordinating the oversight over the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant had been set up as well.

“We are attentively getting ready for welcoming missions, for implementing the proposals and recommendations the foreign colleagues put forward in order to improve the safety of the nuclear power plant and the nuclear energy industry even more,” Aleksandr Dokuchayev concluded.