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Visit of European experts to Belarusian nuclear power plant cancelled


MINSK, 16 December (BelTA) – A group of European experts was supposed to visit the Belarusian nuclear power plant on 16-18 December. However, the visit will not happen, representatives of the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry (Gosatomnadzor) told BelTA.

Gosatomnadzor said: “According to routine information from the ENSREG peer review team, European partners have decided to cancel their visit to Belarus on 16-18 December. However, the Belarusian side has yet to receive an official notification that the visit has been cancelled.”

The source noted that the Belarusian side had accommodated all the requirements of European partners in order to make this visit happen in the current complicated epidemic conditions.

Gosatomnadzor added: “We reaffirm our adherence to voluntary commitments undertaken as a result of stress tests of the Belarusian nuclear power plant. We count on constructive interaction with European partners within the framework of the reconciled practical agreements.”

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.

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.