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20 Sep 2016

Thomas: Stress tests will make BelNPP a topic of discussion for technical experts, not politicians

OSTROVETS, 20 September (BelTA) – Stress tests will make the matters related to the Belarusian nuclear power plant (BelNPP) a topic of discussion for technical experts and not politicians, Gerassimos Thomas, Deputy Director General for Energy at the European Commission, told media on 20 September, BelTA has learned.

“Stress tests are important as they help the regulator to discuss the technical side of the project with the regulators of other countries. This discussion is not with politicians, but with technical experts. It is important for the Belarusian regulator to make safety evaluation of the nuclear power plant that is being built,” Gerassimos Thomas stressed.

According to the Deputy Director General for Energy at the European Commission, Belarus has assumed obligations to conduct stress tests in line with the procedures used in other countries. During the visit the EC representatives provided their Belarusian counterparts with a detailed explanation of how the European Commission runs stress tests.

Stress tests cover a number of safety aspects. They have been conducted since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. “Stress tests focus on the impact of unfavorable external factors such as a plane crash and an earthquake on the nuclear power plant and check the readiness of the plant for potential emergencies,” Gerassimos Thomas explained.

In his words, apart from contacts with the European Commission, the Belarusian Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department (Gosatomnadzor) should maintain cooperation with the regulators of other European countries. “We are happy that all the stakeholders are taking part in the process. It is a good sign,” Gerassimos Thomas said. In his words, the preparations for running stress tests should be completed and this work should be done at the level of the regulator, i.e. the regulator should keep in touch with the European regulators.

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