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3 Mar 2016

No negative impact on Viliya and Neman rivers from BelNPP

MINSK, 3 March (BelTA) – The project of the Belarusian nuclear power plant (BelNPP) excludes any possibility of negative impact on the rivers Viliya and Neman, Belarusian Deputy Energy Minister Mikhail Mikhadyuk said in an interview with the Lithuanian newspaper Lietuvos Rytas, BelTA has learned.

“Already at the initial stage of the development the BelNPP project, we took all the necessary measures to exclude negative impact on the rivers Viliya and Neman. The plant will have a closed-cycle cooling system. The water from the Viliya River will be used once to fill the cooling system, and after that only to compensate the evaporation losses. Therefore, the plant will in no way affect the level and the water balance of the river,” Mikhail Mikhadyuk explained.

He added that the possibility of contamination of the rivers with radioactive waste is excluded. First of all, the cooling system is closed-cycle, which means that all the outflows get back to the system after some treatment. Secondly, there will be protective barriers that will prevent nuclear waste from spilling into the ground water. Thirdly, there will be a monitoring and protection system that will evaluate the amount of radioactive substances in the environment and conduct water treatment if necessary.

The only water that the BelNPP will release into the Viliya River will be excess water from the cooling towers. “This will be regular water previously taken from the river. The excess water will not contact with radioactive substances. Its quality will be monitored to prevent contamination of the rivers,” Mikhail Mikhadyuk said.

This cooling technology is used around the world, at all heat power plants and nuclear power plants with closed-cycle water systems and cooling towers.

“Having evaluated the environmental impact of the BelNPP, we took additional measures to prevent thermal influence of the released water on the Viliya River. We decided to install equipment that will bring its temperature back to normal depending on the season of the year,” Mikhail Mikhadyuk added.

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