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22 Aug 2019

IAEA sums up preliminary results of Pre-OSART mission to Belarusian nuclear power plant

IAEA sums up preliminary results of Pre-OSART mission to Belarusian nuclear power plant

MINSK, 22 August (BelTA) – Results of the Operational Safety Review mission (Pre-OSART) sent by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to the Belarusian nuclear power plant were summed up by the head of the IAEA expert team Yuri Martynenko at a press conference on 22 August, BelTA has learned.

The IAEA experts finished an 18-day mission to the Belarusian nuclear power plant on 22 August. The team included 15 experts from Armenia, Belgium, Brazil, France, Netherlands, Russia, Slovakia, the USA, and IAEA representatives. The mission’s report is supposed to be finalized within a certain period of time – roughly 12 weeks. After that the report will be presented before the Belarusian government, Yuri Martynenko said.

Pre-OSART (Operational Safety Review Team) missions are invited in line with IAEA regulations to examine nuclear power plants under construction or about to be commissioned before nuclear fuel is loaded. Pre-OSART missions are supposed to assist nuclear operators with increasing the operational safety of nuclear power plants. Such missions are supposed to detect areas where safety can be improved, evaluate the suggested operation programs by comparing them to IAEA safety standards. Recommendations are suggested if necessary.

The IEAE team looked into the following fields: leadership and management of the enterprise; nuclear power plant operation and maintenance; personnel training and qualification; radiation protection, chemistry, and sharing of operational experience; accident management, emergency preparedness and response.

The team mentioned several good practices, which will be shared with the international nuclear community. The number includes a reliable system to notify the population when a radiological accident or other accidents happen at the nuclear power plant using equipment, which does not depend on external sources of energy and can provide verbal alerts. The experts mentioned the dedicated fire station in the Belarusian nuclear power plant has a protective structure, which boasts the same safety levels as the structure designed to shelter the nuclear power plant’s personnel. The experts also noted that the control room of the nuclear power plant has a panel dedicated to managing mobile equipment in emergencies.

Apart from that, the mission came up with several recommendations with a view to enhancing operational safety. The operating company is advised to ensure proper management of all kinds of activities relating to the development and execution of operation programs, step up control and oversight over the startup program. The assimilation of a program to record the experience of operation is suggested.

Chief Engineer of the state enterprise Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant Anatoly Bondar noted that specialists of the enterprise had worked together with the IAEA experts and had received experience. “We’ve tried to discuss as many questions as possible and covered all the areas of our work the experts were interested in. Our readiness for startup operations has been objectively evaluated. We are going to analyze recommendations and proposals of the IAEA experts soon, work out the relevant plans and measures to implement and use them wisely to improve safety standards of the nuclear power plant, including startup and commissioning operations and consequent operation,” the chief engineer said.

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