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13 Jan 2017

IAEA’s SEED mission to visit Belarus on 16-20 January

MINSK, 13 January (BelTA) – A Site and External Events Design (SEED) mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is set to visit Belarus to assess its nuclear power plant site in Ostrovets on 16-20 January 2017, spokesman for the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dmitry Mironchik told a press briefing on 13 January.

“Next week Belarus is expected to host the IAEA’s SEED mission. At the request of an IAEA member state, the SEED Mission provides integrated assistance at different stages of nuclear power projects. The mission provides an independent assessment review of the site and design safety of the nuclear plant with respect to natural and human-related external and internal hazard phenomena,” the spokesman said.

In his words, during the period from 16 to 20 January IAEA experts will be assessing, taking into account international safety requirements, the sustainability of the Ostrovets site, systems, structures and components of the future plant against external and internal risks and threats. The safety margin of the project, taking to account the post-Fukushima experience, will be assessed as well.

“Belarus invited the SEED Mission back in 2014 as a measure to enhance the level of trust in our first nuclear power plant. Here, we met halfway the neighboring Lithuania in comprehensive and professional assessment of all aspects of safety of the future plant,” stressed Dmitry Mironchik.

As BelTA reported earlier, Belarusian Energy Minister Vladimir Potupchik said that Belarus was ready to host a Site and External Events Design (SEED) mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in January 2017. “Following recommendations from the Espoo Convention Implementation Committee, Belarus will host an IAEA’s SEED mission that will evaluate the construction site of the Belarusian nuclear power plant in January 2017,” the minister said.

In 2017, the IAEA will also send a number of other missions to Belarus at the country’s request, including an Emergency Preparedness Review (EPREV) mission and an IAEA Safeguards Advisory Service (ISSAS) mission. Besides, Belarus will prepare for hosting a Pre-Operational Safety Review Team (Pre-OSART) mission and an Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission.

The IAEA will carry out a number of expert missions to Belarus as part of its technical cooperation project aimed at the development of human resources and infrastructure for the commissioning of the first nuclear power plant. The experts will give financial risk management recommendations, review the country's strategy for the management of radioactive waste and used nuclear fuel, and give advice on some other matters.

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