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Belarus to expand cooperation with IAEA in radiation monitoring


MINSK, 22 March (BelTA) – Belarus intends to expand cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the area of radiation monitoring, BelTA learned from Mikhail Kovalenko, Head of the Radiation Monitoring Service of the National Center for Hydrometeorology, Radioactive Contamination Control, and Environmental Monitoring (Belhydromet) of the Belarusian Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry.

The IAEA is implementing a project designed to improve the radiation monitoring system in the European-Asian region. “More than 30 countries are participating in this project, including Belarus. Belhydromet specialists, who are participating in this project will increase their qualifications,” Mikhail Kovalenko said.

“Apart from that, we've submitted an application for implementing a national project meant to improve the radiation monitoring system in the Belarusian nuclear power plant's impact area, including equipment delivery. The application is being reviewed for now but the IAEA Secretariat is likely to approve it,” the Belhydromet representative added.

Mikhail Kovalenko also mentioned what Belarusian specialists had already accomplished with regard to radiation monitoring. “New observation stations have been set up around the Belarusian nuclear power plant to monitor the state of air, surface waters, and soil. The modernization of automatic radiation control systems in the areas affected by nuclear power plants in neighboring countries will be finished this year. These systems were created in 2002-2006 and just like any technical equipment required modernization. The detectors are much more sophisticated already,” the official pointed out.

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.