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19 Sep 2017

Belarus to welcome IAEA’s next review mission in six months

VIENNA, 19 September (BelTA) – Belarus will welcome the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Emergency Preparedness Review Service (EPREV) mission in March 2018. Belarusian Deputy Energy Minister Mikhail Mikhadyuk made the statement during the plenary session of the 61st session of the IAEA General Conference in Vienna on 19 September, BelTA has learned.

In the last 12 months Belarus welcomed two important evaluation missions from the IAEA — an Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission in October 2016 and a Site and External Events Design Review Service (SEED) mission in January 2017. Cooperation will continue in March 2018 when Belarus will welcome an Emergency Preparedness Review Service (EPREV) mission. Later on but prior to the commissioning of the first power-generating unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant Belarus will welcome an Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) mission and an Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission. Mikhail Mikhadyuk thanked the IAEA secretariat for constructive cooperation in planning and arranging the missions.

The IAEA’s projects for technical cooperation with Belarus allow improving the effectiveness of training personnel for the country’s nascent nuclear energy industry. The projects also help ensure nuclear and radiation safety. They make a noticeable contribution to the development of nuclear medicine and to efforts to ensure the sustainable development of the territories affected by the Chernobyl catastrophe.

Apart from receiving consultative aid and technical aid from the IAEA Belarus also acts as a donor. The IAEA regularly arranges post-graduation education courses on protection against radiation and the safety of radiation sources in Belarus. The agency and its member states are interested in Belarus’ experience of scientific research in the radiation and ecological reserve in the Chernobyl exclusion zone.

“Belarus highly appreciates the IAEA’s contribution to international cooperation in Chernobyl affairs. For many years the agency has been providing various kinds of aid to the country. Today we consider the IAEA as one of the main partners in implementing the UN initiative on assisting with the sustainable development of the affected regions,” stressed Mikhail Mikhadyuk.

Belarus also noted the IAEA’s effective work in controlling the compliance with nuclear non-proliferation weapons commitments in accordance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. “The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is now a core part of the international security system and has no alternative nowadays. Belarus wholeheartedly supports the system of the IAEA safeguards and strongly believes it is necessary to further strengthen it. We believe it is of fundamental importance to preserve an understandable, objective, depoliticized and technically justified system of the IAEA safeguards, which relies on the agreements the agency has signed with the member states,” said the Belarusian deputy energy minister.

 

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