Risks are reduced to zero

On September 19th-20th, Belarus was visited by the European Commission delegation led by the Deputy Head of the Directorate General for Energy, Gerassimos Thomas
On September 19th-20th, Belarus was visited by the European Commission delegation led by the Deputy Head of the Directorate General for Energy, Gerassimos Thomas. The guests met representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Emergency Situations and the State Committee for Supervision of Safety in Industry and Nuclear Power. They also attended the site of the future Belarusian nuclear power station.


Gerassimos Thomas answers questions

The main topic of the visit was the assessment of risks and safety of the nuclear power plant under construction — the so-called stress tests. They are held after the accident at the Fukushima-1 Japanese nuclear power plant in March 2011. In summer of the same year, Belarus joined the declaration on comprehensive risk and safety assessments of nuclear plants — thus agreeing to undertake stress tests for the station under construction, taking into account the requirements developed by a European group of regulators of nuclear facilities. After all, security is paramount.

“With regard to the nuclear power plant in Ostrovets, the Department of Energy, the regulator and the customer of the construction, provided us with the information on this project. Representatives of all governments openly shared the information that is now available,” Mr. Thomas confirmed after visiting the site, adding that the European Commission is ready to provide our State Committee for Supervision of Safety in Industry and Nuclear Power with additional technical assistance. “It will be rendered if necessary,” he said. “We already support the work of two experts who are assisting the regulator. We are now ready to increase the volume of this support.”

Belarus hides nothing as all information is open. Recently, another (seventh) national report of Belarus was prepared dealing with the implementation of the Convention on Nuclear Safety. This document illustrates the implementation of our commitments in 2013-2016 — taking into consideration the construction of the first nuclear power plant. Special attention is given to the changes that have taken place in the legislative and regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety. Upon the results of stress tests, a national report will be prepared to be sent to the European Commission.

Meanwhile, recently Vienna hosted the 60th session of the IAEA General Conference — featuring the Belarusian delegation led by the Deputy Energy Minister, Mikhail Mikhadyuk. The Belarusian NPP’s exposition appeared as part of the conference at the headquarters of the IAEA at the Vienna International Centre — providing information on the progress of our project.

By Maxim Osipov

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