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3 Jul 2018

ENSREG endorses Peer Review Report of the EU Stress Test in Belarus

MINSK, 3 July (BelTA) – The Peer Review Report of the EU Stress Test in Belarus has been approved by the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG). The corresponding press release was published by the European Commission 2 July, BelTA has learned.

“The Peer Review report, which was presented to the Belarusian authorities in June 2018, has now been endorsed by the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group. A comprehensive report and detailed recommendations for ensuring nuclear safety in Belarus will be published on the ENSREG website together with an executive summary,” reads the press release.

The European Commission points out that the report confirms the adequacy of nuclear safety features as established by the national safety regulator at the time of the license in 2014. In addition, it makes recommendations requiring thorough follow up and continued implementation measures. The report makes, in particular, an in-depth assessment of the plant in relation to earthquakes, flooding and other extreme weather events, loss of electrical power and severe accident management.

“The Commission calls on the Belarusian authorities to develop a National Action Plan to ensure timely implementation of all safety improvement measures. The Commission expresses its willingness to participate in the review of the implementation of the respective measures of the Action Plan,” the European Commission underlines.

Earlier a team of ENSREG experts representing nuclear safety regulators from Austria, Bulgaria, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Germany, France, Finland, Slovakia, Sweden, Greece, Slovenia, Ukraine, Spain and Lithuania studied the National Report on Stress Tests for the Belarusian nuclear power plant. During the peer review, the Belarus nuclear regulatory authority provided detailed responses to a number of written questions from the experts. The experts also visited the BelNPP construction site in March 2018.

During the latest visit to Belarus the peer review board presented the draft report and the conclusions the European experts had arrived at after studying information about the resilience of the Belarusian nuclear power plant to unfavorable external natural factors. The peer review board delegation visited the construction site of the Belarusian nuclear power plant on 13 June.

In 2016 Belarus undertook on a voluntary basis comprehensive risk and safety assessments ('stress tests'), taking into account the specifications agreed by the European Commission and the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group. The hypothetical impact of a number of natural factors on the power plant and its units was evaluated as part of the process. The factors included earthquakes, floods, extreme weather phenomena and their combinations as well as consequences of the loss of offsite power and the loss of the heat transfer agent (water). Consequences of such events were evaluated bearing in mind the designed parameters of the nuclear power plant and its safeguards. The main conclusions of the national report stipulate that the safeguards of the Belarusian nuclear power plant have been developed bearing in mind the thoroughly examined external events; the buildings, structures, and equipment of the Belarusian nuclear power plant have been designed in line with the effective legislation; safety margins are available.

The Belarusian nuclear power plant is being built using the Russian standard Generation III+ design AES-2006 near Ostrovets, Grodno Oblast. The first power-generating unit is scheduled for commissioning in December 2019, with the second one to go online in July 2020.

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