In the 1970–1980s, the world’s first mobile nuclear station — Pamir-630D — was created and launched at the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute for Nuclear Energy, under the order of the Soviet Military-Industrial Committee. It was intended for use as an autonomous source of energy for remote sites in the USSR but failed to find practical application when the Soviet Union collapsed. The Belarusian institute inherited experience and design of nuclear reactors, alongside several dozen kilograms of extremely expensive uranium. The state did not decide what to do with these resources until the President visited the secure facility near Minsk in 1998. Mr. Lukashenko has always supported scientific research in the field of nuclear energy, so was keen to find out about the viability of building Belarus’ own nuclear power station.
Recently, talk on the topic has received attention once again — covering results achieved in previous years. Sosny staff have shown Mr. Lukashenko their universal critical stand Hyacinth, made by Presidential order with aid from the IAEA. The Chairman of the National Academy of Sciences’ Presidium, Mikhail Myasnikovich, notes that the Hyacinth is among the top ten such systems around the globe (jointly with Yalina complex — which is also situated in Sosny). He believes it will bring independent, inextinguishable nuclear power with diverse functions: reactor design problems will be solved, while radio-electronic devices will come into use measuring radiation and training for nuclear energy specialists will be organised.
“Belarus has the most advanced position in the world as regards nuclear research. This is not exclusively our assertion but the opinion of our foreign colleagues who partner us,” Mr. Myasnikovich stresses, adding that representatives of nuclear states — like the USA and Russia — are showing interest in joint work with the Sosny Institute. This would bring economic profit as, according to the official, ‘four foreign dollars account for one dollar invested in the Yalina complex’. Sosny’s work is being realised with co-ordination from the IAEA.
Mr. Lukashenko has addressed the heads of the National Academy of Sciences and the Joint Institute for Power and Nuclear Research Sosny, saying that nuclear energy research must bring real profit to the Belarusian economy, be socially useful and contribute to the development of Belarus’ scientific potential and military security.
At Sosny, the President also listened to reports on constructing the first Belarusian nuclear power station (in Ostrovets district) and the development of necessary infrastructure. New possibilities for nuclear energy use and the strengthening of national security were also discussed.