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21 Feb 2018

EU experts to arrive in March for peer review of Belarusian nuclear power plant stress tests

OSTROVETS, 21 February (BelTA) – A group of European experts is expected to arrive in Belarus in March 2018 for the sake of a peer review of results of the Belarusian nuclear power plant stress tests, BelTA learned from Belarusian Deputy Energy Minister Mikhail Mikhadyuk.

The group will include representatives of nuclear energy regulating agencies from Austria, Bulgaria, the UK, Hungary, Germany, France, Finland, Slovakia, Sweden, Greece, Slovenia, Ukraine, Spain, and Lithuania. The group will include representatives of the European Commission, the IAEA, Iran, and Russia. Belarus has already sent a national report on results of the stress tests to the European experts.

Following the established procedure, about 500 questions concerning the stress tests of the Belarusian nuclear power plant have been worked out. “It is normal practice. All the countries, which have agreed to a peer review of their stress tests, have to go through such a procedure,” noted Mikhail Mikhadyuk.

A group of experts is expected to visit the Belarusian nuclear power plant construction site in the course of the peer review. They will get familiar with the facility and will make sure how safety standards are observed there and then, explained the deputy energy minister.

BelTA reported earlier that the group of experts will release a report after the peer review is done.

Belarus stress-tested its nuclear power plant using European methods in 2016. As part of the stress testing process consequences of natural phenomena were forecasted such as earthquakes, floods, extreme weather phenomena and their combinations, consequences of the loss of external power and the loss of the heat transfer agent (water). The ability of the technical solutions, which are supposed to kick in after the initial safeguards fail due to these phenomena, to protect the population and environment from radiation was evaluated. The main conclusion is that the Belarusian nuclear power plant can handle the events of the kind that befell the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

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 2019, with the second one to go online in 2020.


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