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19 Apr 2017

Belarus to host IAEA mission in March 2018

MINSK, 19 April (BelTA) – Belarus plans to host a mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in March 2018. The mission will review emergency preparedness in Belarus, Leonid Dedul, Head of the Department of the State Emergency Warning and Response System, told reporters at BelTA’s press center on 19 April.

“An Emergency Preparedness Review (EPREV) mission that will come to Belarus at the country’s request will evaluate emergency preparedness in Belarus. A meeting to discuss preparations for the EPREV mission was held in January 2017. The mission is scheduled for March 2018,” Leonid Dedul said.

He also noted that Belarus’ nuclear and radiation accident response system is integrated into the national emergency response system. The latter is being enhanced taking into account the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant.

Belarus presented a report at a conference of the parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety in March-April 2017. The Belarusian delegation noted that the country had drafted the plans to provide safety in both internal and external events taking into account the construction of the NPP. The plans aim to ensure the safety of the NPP staff and the population that might get into a possible contamination area within a radius of the NPP. “Currently the plans are being finalized and coordinated with relevant government agencies. They will be tested during a national command and staff exercise in the autumn 2017,” Leonid Dedul remarked. According to him, Belarus’ emergencies services consistently explore practical experience and regularly take part in exercises at Russian, French and other foreign NPPs.

The concept of the exercise has not yet been approved. It is expected that the exercise will cover the whole Belarusian territory. “Smolensk, Rovno and Ignalina NPPs are located closely to the Belarusian border. Taking this fact into account, Belarus will cooperate with Ukraine during the exercise. Russia has also confirmed its participation. We are ready to cooperate with Lithuania too if they decide to engage. We are going to simulate joint actions in emergency situations at nuclear sites in neighboring states but the main focus will be on the actions at the Belarusian NPP,” Leonid Dedul summarized.

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