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Belarus to continue open, constructive cooperation with IAEA

21.09.2020

MINSK, 21 September (BelTA) – Belarus thinks highly of results of cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency and will continue open and constructive interaction with the agency. Belarusian Energy Minister Viktor Karankevich made the statement during the 64th session of the IAEA General Conference in Vienna, the ministry's press service told BelTA.

The official noted that Belarus and the IAEA maintain full-scale cooperation virtually across the entire spectrum of the agency's work. In the last few years Belarus welcomed seven IAEA missions relating to the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant. “We believe results of their work are quite useful and persistently fulfill the recommendations we have been given,” Viktor Karankevich said.

Belarus highly appreciates the agency's technical aid and expert assistance with the development of the national nuclear energy infrastructure. “Our experience of interaction with the IAEA in this sphere testifies to the high effectiveness of the IAEA's tools meant to support countries that embark upon their nuclear energy programs,” the official said.

Belarus also supports the IAEA's efforts to bolster nuclear security in the global context. Belarus pays close attention to the matter. An IAEA consulting mission on nuclear security is expected to arrive in 2021.

Viktor Karankevich also talked about progress in building the Belarusian nuclear power plant. Nuclear fuel was fully loaded into the first reactor of the Belarusian nuclear power plant in August. The first unit of the nuclear power plant is supposed to be commissioned in Q1 2021 while the second one will be commissioned in 2022.

Viktor Karankevich went on saying: “We are convinced that sustainable development and prosperous future are inextricably linked to nuclear technologies. Their application makes an important contribution to higher living standards of our nations and can ensure steady energy supply without putting a considerable additional burden on the environment.”

The IAEA's work to bolster the potential of countries in fighting the coronavirus pandemic is a good example of the demand for nuclear technologies. Viktor Karankevich thanked the agency for the aid granted to Belarus and to the countries whose financial support made this aid possible.

As part of the realization of the national nuclear energy program Belarus will continue open and constructive interaction with the International Atomic Energy Agency and all the interested partners, Viktor Karankevich concluded.

The 64th session of the IAEA General Conference is scheduled to take place in the Vienna International Center on 21-25 September. The agency will sum up results of last year's work, update the budget, and outline priorities for 2021. Participants of the conference will discuss matters of nuclear and radiation safety, nuclear security, and international technical cooperation. The program also includes the IAEA's work in the area of COVID-19 detection. The Belarusian delegation is led by Energy Minister Viktor Karankevich.

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