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ENSREG to approve report on peer review of action plan on BelNPP's stress tests in late November

Oleg Sobolev

MINSK, 6 October (BelTA) – The European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG) is expected to approve a report on the peer review of the national action plan resulting from stress tests of the Belarusian nuclear power plant in late November, Oleg Sobolev, a consultant with the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry (Gosatomnadzor), said in BelTA's press center on 6 October.

ENSREG is conducting a peer review of the national action plan, which Belarus put together after stress-testing the nuclear power plant. According to Oleg Sobolev, the experts are evaluating how Belarus has responded to the proposals made at all stages of the stress tests, how their recommendations are reflected by the national action plan, and how the plan's implementation is going on. The peer review included two phases. The first one took place in early 2021. The experts analyzed seven priority matters, which they believed it was important to study before the first unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant is commissioned. A preliminary report about the peer review was prepared. The main conclusion of the ENSREG experts during the first stage is that Belarus has properly taken into account the recommendations, has planned and realized measures with regard to the seven priority matters.

The second phase of the peer review is nearing completion now. A series of expert consultations in the format of videoconferences was arranged and a team of experts visited the Belarusian nuclear power plant site. The final report on the peer review will be considered at the next ENSREG session in late November. “Once it takes place, we will publish this document,” the Gosatomnadzor representative said.

Belarus voluntarily organized stress tests of the Belarusian nuclear power plant in line with the European Union's methods in 2016-2018. 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, risks relating to the human factor were analyzed. No safety deficiencies of the nuclear power plant were discovered as a result. On the basis 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.