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IAEA's International Physical Protection Advisory Service mission working in Belarus

An archive photo

MINSK, 28 June (BelTA) – An International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has started working in Belarus, the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry (Gosatomnadzor) told BelTA.

The IPPAS mission will focus on the national practices of ensuring the security of nuclear materials and nuclear installations, the security of a nuclear installation, the security of nuclear materials during their transportation, information and computer security.

The IPPAS mission as well as other evaluation missions and peer reviews are arranged voluntarily upon Belarus' invitations. Gosatomnadzor had worked with parties concerned to prepare the visit.

Joseph Sandoval is the head of the IPPAS mission sent to Belarus. The team also includes experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UK, France, Switzerland, Russia, Bulgaria, and Ukraine. Over the course of two weeks they will examine the legal framework for ensuring nuclear security, licensing and permission procedures concerning the use of nuclear energy, the implementation of oversight measures with regard to nuclear installations, security services, response to unauthorized actions, the security of nuclear materials during transportation, and other matters.

Meetings will be held with representatives of the Belarusian side. Executive personnel of the organizations, which are involved in nuclear security, will be interviewed. Documents will be reviewed. A visit to the Belarusian nuclear power plant will be arranged.

The IPPAS mission will end on 9 July 2021. The team will release a report then. The Belarusian side expects the mission to put together competent recommendations on ways to improve the security of nuclear installations in Belarus. Belarus persistently works to invite evaluation missions and organize peer reviews, which results are used as the foundation for working out the relevant national action plans meant to improve the radiation and nuclear safety and security system and its components on the basis of international safety and security standards.

Belarus has already welcomed a number of International Atomic Energy Agency missions, including a mission of the Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) in 2016, an Emergency Preparedness Review (EPREV) Service mission in 2018, a State Systems of Accounting for and Control of Nuclear Material (ISSAS) mission in 2019. Belarus also welcomed Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) missions in 2012 and 2020. A post-mission of the Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) will take place in late 2021. It will evaluate progress in fulfilling recommendations issued in 2016.