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4 Aug 2016

Belarus president: We will get another if the dropped reactor vessel has suffered any damage

BRASLAV DISTRICT, 4 August (BelTA) – Belarus will get rid of the reactor vessel that was dropped during the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant if the vessel has suffered even the slightest bit of damage. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the statement during the working trip to Vitebsk Oblast on 4 August, BelTA has learned.

“Some reporters have gone too far. Even Russians. Russian mass media have been the worst ones in covering this accident. ‘A reactor was dropped at the construction site of the nuclear power plant in Belarus’. Wake up: there is no reactor over there yet. It was a metal shell, a barrel if you want, with walls as thick as 20cm. The reactor will go inside it,” said Alexander Lukashenko. “I was told the next morning after the accident happened. The construction workers were moving it in a warehouse, they were learning how to lift it. The reactor vessel was lifted as high as I am tall, maybe slightly more, the straps failed and one side of this barrel touched the ground, from which it had been lifted.”

The President remarked he had seen the footage of the accident and had given instructions to sort it out right away. “Even if the reactor vessel has suffered the slightest bit of damage, we should get rid of it. And Russians say that if we reject this one, they will bring another. And that’s the end of the story,” noted the head of state.

Alexander Lukashenko underlined that as a post-Chernobyl country Belarus is primarily interested in having a safe nuclear power plant. “I personally oversee the nuclear power plant construction progress let alone any accidents. If the foundation was messed up or a piece of the wall collapsed, the outcry would be heard all over the world, too,” added the Belarusian leader.

According to the President, Russia is also interested in the safety of the Belarusian nuclear power plant. “Russia is building a bunch of nuclear power plants all over the world. Plans have been made to build some in Turkey and Egypt. Construction is in progress in Iran and China,” said the head of state. “If something bad happens, Russia will lose customers, they will lose a huge multi-billion piece of their economy.”

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