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14 Oct 2016

IRRS mission hails Belarus Gosatomnadzor’s reforms

MINSK, 14 October (BelTA) – The IAEA Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) praised the transformation of the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry (Gosatomnadzor) taking into account the country’s first ongoing nuclear power program, BelTA learnt from the Gosatomnadzor website.

The IRRS mission aims to determine the areas which need further improvement, prepare the relevant recommendations and proposals and explore the practices which the IAEA may recommend for use to all the countries in the future.

The IRRS group of experts made a conclusion that Belarus has developed a regulatory nuclear and radiation security infrastructure and saw the country’s firm commitment to the implementation of nuclear and radiation security principles. The major challenge for Belarus as a country launching its first nuclear power program is to secure safe operation of its first nuclear power plant which is set to be commissioned in two years. This challenge was set by the Belarusian government and numerous measures are taken to address it.

The IRRS mission hailed the transformation of the Belarusian regulating body with the country’s first nuclear power program underway; approaches to strategic planning of the regulatory activity and Gosatomnadzor’s strategic documents; Belarus’ fulfillment of international commitments in nuclear and radiation security.

The IRRS mission also took note of two practices applied in Belarus. One of them is strong and efficient mechanisms to coordinate the activity: the ministerial commission coordinating the major events related to the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant (led by the Deputy Prime Minister) and the ministerial working group to coordinate the supervision of the BelNPP construction (headed by the First Deputy Emergencies Minister). The second includes approaches to secure the quick growth of the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry, innovative mechanisms and practices of building a healthy organizational culture, vesting young specialists with such an important and responsible task as the development of the knowledge transfer strategy, information days, professional competitions among young specialists with the further possibility of implementing their proposals to improve the regulating activity.

Belarus hosted its first IRRS mission on 2-14 October. The major goal of the mission was to evaluate the conformity of Belarus’ regulatory infrastructure and regulating activity with the IAEA safety standards.

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