Our country has never seen such construction

Nuclear energy information centre to inform public of true nature of peaceful atom

At the official opening ceremony of the centre, in Minsk, Belarus’ Deputy Prime Minister, Vladimir Semashko, noted that the Belarusian public continue to feel ambiguous towards nuclear power, often being uninformed as to its true nature. He underlined, “We need to show people why we’re building the nuclear power station. The major task of the nuclear energy information centre is to inform the public. Construction works at the nuclear power station are proceeding to schedule, with the first reactor due to launch in 2018 and the second in late 2020. However, as work progresses, people will have many questions, which our qualified specialists at the centre will be able to answer.”

Nuclear energy information centre opens in Minsk

Belarus’ Energy Minister, Vladimir Potupchik, believes that the construction of the nuclear power station will help solve problems of diversifying power sources, while giving the opportunity to develop new spheres connected to the ‘peaceful atom’. “Every element is vital in this project: from the organisation of the construction process to informing the public,” stresses the Minister.

Belarus’ Education Minister signed a memorandum on the centre’s creation last summer, in Moscow, with the head of Rosatom, during the 4th Atomexpo-2014 international forum. The centre’s site began technical works in late November 2014, in the grounds of the National Centre for Innovative and Technical Creativity.

Nuclear energy awareness-raising centres are being opened under the aegis of the Russian State Nuclear Energy Corporation, Rosatom, in the capitals of regions where nuclear enterprises are being built or are currently functioning. They feature a contemporary multimedia theatre, combining panoramic 3D projection, computer graphics and animation, alongside stereo sound, interactive consoles and personal monitors. Visitors are able to use ‘virtual reality’ to gain understanding of how nuclear power operates, and all screenings and events are free of charge.

The centres’ films are aimed at schoolchildren (from 8 years old) and adults, with additional screenings explaining elements of astronomy, natural science and country studies: in Russian and English.

The Minsk centre has opened in coincidence with the 7th Atomexpo-Belarus 2015 international exhibition and conference, conducted upon the initiative of the Energy Ministry of Belarus, with support from the Rosatom Corporation.

The Belarusian nuclear power station construction site is a model for emulation, notes Alexander Lokshin, Rosatom’s First Deputy Director General. Speaking at a plenary session at Atomexpo-Belarus, in Minsk, he commented, “The Belarusian nuclear power station is the only foreign power plant that we are building as we would in Russia. In some respects, it’s an exemplary project.” Mr. Lokshin underlined that co-operation between Rosatom and Belarus is developing dynamically.

Belarus’ Deputy Energy Minister, Mikhail Mikhadyuk, emphasises that Belarusian contractors are handling over 80 percent of the operations involved in building the power station. He asserts, “Together with our Russian partner, we’ve created a working group tasked with localising the project and involving Belarusian companies. Much effort has been put into scientific support, the involvement of Belarusian research institutions and the preparation of legislation to govern the power station’s operation.”

Belarus’ Deputy Prime Minister, Vladimir Semashko, speaking at the opening ceremony of Atomexpo-Belarus 2015, underlined, “Construction of the Belarusian nuclear power station is taking place under the strictest control, ensuring ultimate quality and reliability. I’d like to extend my gratitude to our Russian counterparts and to domestic construction companies for staying on schedule.”

The Deputy Prime Minister noted that the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power station is on a scale ‘never known before’ in Belarus. He noted that the nuclear power station will cost $8bn with even more funds allocated to building infrastructure to serve the settlement of Ostrovets, which will become a truly modern town.

Mr. Semashko views events such as Atomexpo-Belarus as providing the perfect forum for specialists to discuss nuclear energy development. Organised by the Belarusian Energy Ministry, with assistance from the Rosatom Corporation, its major goal was to demonstrate the latest technologies in the design, building, operation and security of nuclear power stations. The forum also highlighted ways to ensure efficient delivery of equipment for building a nuclear power station and non-energy uses of nuclear power.

By Veniamin Mikheev
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