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14 Oct 2016

IAEA ready to recommend Belarusian nuclear power plant construction practices to other countries

MINSK, 14 October (BelTA) – The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is ready to recommend the positive practices Belarus uses to build the nuclear power plant to other countries. Head of the IAEA’s IRRS mission to Belarus, Director General of the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority of Finland (STUK) Petteri Tiippana made the statement on 14 October, BelTA has learned.

Two positive practices Belarus uses were mentioned. One of them is powerful and effective mechanisms for coordinating operations. The mechanisms include the interagency commission for coordinating the main aspects of the Belarusian nuclear power plant construction effort and for overseeing the project’s implementation under the leadership of a deputy prime minister as well as the interministerial working group for coordinating oversight over the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant under the leadership of the first deputy emergencies minister.

The other practice is the approach to managing the rapid growth of the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry, innovative mechanisms and ways of building a healthy organizational culture, the delegation of responsible tasks to young specialists such as the development of the strategy to pass on knowledge to new employees. Efforts of top officials of the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department to improve the competence of young specialists were also praised as well as professional contests arranged for young specialists, who can consequently implement their proposals in favor of improving regulatory activities. As a rule, the IAEA recommends positive practices for adoption in other countries.

The IRRS mission’s proposals and recommendations deal with permanent support and focus on the matters already mentioned by Belarus’ report and the country’s self-evaluation, said Petteri Tiippana. The expert noted such fundamental matters as the permanent improvement of human resources, the desire to bring the regulatory norms on operating nuclear power plants into compliance with IAEA standards, and the readiness to respond to emergencies. “It is necessary to renew and work on normative requirements so that regulatory agencies and the nuclear power plant operator would be ready to respond to complicated situations,” pointed out the IRRS mission head. Speaking about the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry, the expert noted that the agency should take measures to improve the administration system for the sake of working more effectively and productively.

“A lot of work has yet to be done and one should be ready for it. We have mentioned a lot of things Belarus is already working on. I hope that our mission will help all the government agencies involved in the nuclear power plant launch project to take part in improving this work in the most effective manner possible,” concluded Petteri Tiippana.

The IAEA’s first Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission worked in Belarus on 2-14 October. The IRRS mission was supposed to evaluate the compliance of the country’s regulatory infrastructure and efforts with the IAEA’s safety standards.

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