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9 Feb 2015

Belarusian nuclear industry watchdog preparing for IAEA’s IRRS mission

MINSK, 9 February (BelTA) – The Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry has started preparations for a visit of the IAEA’s Integrated Regulatory Review Service mission that will assess the regulating infrastructure in autumn 2016, BelTA learned from Oleg Sobolev, Head of the Communications and Public Information Office of the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry.

According to the source, IRRS experts will stay in Belarus for several weeks to study regulatory aspects of the efforts meant to ensure radiation and nuclear security taking into account the construction of the nuclear power plant, including legislation, licensing procedures, oversight and many other things. Major preparations will precede the mission.

According to Oleg Sobolev, before welcoming the IAEA experts Belarus will have to carry out a so-called self-evaluation. The agency has developed a special software product for that. It contains over 3,000 questions. In 2015 the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry will work hard to master the software product and pass the self-evaluation procedure.

BelTA reported earlier that Belarus has requested the IAEA’s Integrated Regulatory Review Service to visit the country and the request has been granted. The invitation was passed in March 2014 as part of the procedure to defend Belarus’ national report regarding the fulfillment of the Convention on Nuclear Safety.

The IAEA’s Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission worked in Belarus in 2012 to evaluate the readiness of the infrastructure for building the nuclear power plant. The IRRS mission’s scope will be narrower, however, Belarus expects more concrete requirements and recommendations from the mission.

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