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Proper preparations for ENSREG experts' visit to Belarusian nuclear power plant emphasized


MINSK, 16 December (BelTA) – The Belarusian nuclear power plant had all the necessary conditions for experts of the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG) to work, the press service of the Belarusian Energy Ministry told BelTA.

The source noted: “As for the organization of the visit of European experts to the construction site of the Belarusian nuclear power plant on 16-18 December, everything was ready at the site. The itinerary was worked out in detail. It provided for a trip to facilities and installations of the Belarusian nuclear power plant and for the necessary consultations with the management and specialists of the nuclear power plant, with representatives of Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry (Gosatomnadzor) taking part. The relevant materials had been prepared. Organizational issues had been addressed in order to enable comfortable conditions for the work of the expert group.”

The Energy Ministry stressed that although the visit has been canceled, the Belarusian side is intent on further interaction with ENSREG experts and counts on constructive cooperation.

BelTA reported earlier that experts of the European Commission and the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG) were expected to visit the construction site of the Belarusian nuclear power plant on 16-18 December as part of a peer review of the national action plan compiled as a result of the stress tests, which were carried out in 2018. Gosatomnadzor stated earlier today that the visit had been cancelled.

Belarus voluntarily organized stress tests of the Belarusian nuclear power plant in line with the European Union's procedure. The stress tests evaluated the availability of safety margins in excess of those required by the national legislation. Criteria of the stress tests included checking the nuclear power plant's resilience to natural phenomena, in particular, earthquakes and floods, as well as various man-made accidents. Apart from that, the criteria included a broad range of risks relating to the human factor.

As a result of the stress tests the national regulatory authority (Gosatomnadzor) prepared a national action plan, which summarized both recommendations given as a result of a national expert evaluation and recommendations given by European peer review experts. The document contains 23 measures, which are supposed to be implemented in 2019-2025. Some of the recommendations have already been fulfilled, including those relating to additional safeguards and safety-enhancing equipment.

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.