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3 Feb 2016

Tight oversight over manufacturers of Belarusian nuclear power plant components

MINSK, 3 February (BelTA) – The Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry (Gosatomnadzor) intends to arrange 26 trips in 2016 to the companies that make equipment for the Belarusian nuclear power plant. The relevant plans were discussed at the session of the Department’s board, representatives of the Gosatomnadzor press service told BelTA.

In 2015 complex inspections were combined with continuous oversight. Preparations were in progress to license the operation of the first power-generating unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant and give permissions needed to commission the facility.

In 2015 more trips were arranged for the sake of onsite inspections of the manufacturers that make vital equipment for the Belarusian nuclear power plant. 2014 saw two trips while the number reached 14 in 2015. Plans have been made to arrange 26 inspection trips in 2016.

Olga Lugovskaya, Head of the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry, pointed out that Gosatomnadzor continues improving its operation and building up competence in the regulation of nuclear and radiation safety. In 2015 work began to bring the Gosatomnadzor administration system into compliance with modern IAEA requirements. An integrated process-based management system is supposed to be worked out.

In 2015 the agency continued hiring qualified professionals. Gosatomnadzor arranges career enhancement courses for them as part of the government program on training nuclear industry personnel as well as international technical cooperation projects and programs. The development of three-year individual plans meant to improve the qualification of every employee is the central idea.

The official mentioned that strategic changes in the organization of technical support for the agency had begun. At present technical support is available only from the United Energy and Nuclear Research Institute Sosny of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. Plans are afoot to create a system of about 20 organizations for the sake of combining their potential to regulate nuclear and radiation safety.

In 2015 Belarus honored its international commitments in the area of nuclear and radiation safety, including the presentation of the national report on fulfilling the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management. Gosatomnadzor also became an observer in international associations of regulating agencies. The number includes the forum of regulating agencies of the countries that operate WWER reactors and the Western European Nuclear Regulators Association (WENRA).

Participants of the session of the board of the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry adopted documents that will regulate the Department’s consequent operation. The documents take into account Belarus’ experience in the area of nuclear and radiation safety, recommendations of foreign and international experts, and IAEA requirements for regulating agencies in the area of nuclear and radiation safety.

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