MINSK, 14 January (BelTA) – The Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry (Gosatomnadzor) and the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG) are negotiating a visit of the European experts to the Belarusian nuclear power plant in February, Gosatomnadzor representatives told BelTA.
The source confirmed that negotiations are in progress. The visit is supposed to take place in February 2021 as part of a peer review of the national action plan resulting from stress tests of the Belarusian nuclear power plant.
Gosatomnadzor expects the specific timeframe of the visit to be determined soon.
The news agency Bloomberg previously reported preparations for the visit and cited a European Commission representative.
BelTA reported earlier that experts of the European Commission and the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG) were expected to visit the construction site of the Belarusian nuclear power plant on 16-18 December as part of a peer review of the national action plan compiled as a result of the stress tests, which were carried out in 2018.
Belarus voluntarily organized the stress tests of the Belarusian nuclear power plant in line with the European Union's procedure. The stress tests evaluated the availability of safety margins in excess of those required by the national legislation. Criteria of the stress tests included checking the nuclear power plant's resilience to natural phenomena, in particular, earthquakes and floods, as well as various man-made accidents. Apart from that, the criteria included a broad range of risks relating to the human factor.
As a result of the stress tests the national regulatory authority (Gosatomnadzor) prepared a national action plan, which summarized both recommendations given as a result of a national expert evaluation and recommendations given by European peer review experts. The document contains 23 measures, which are supposed to be implemented in 2019-2025. Some of the recommendations have already been fulfilled, including those relating to additional safeguards and safety-enhancing equipment.
The Belarusian nuclear power plant is being built near Ostrovets, Grodno Oblast using the Russian design AES-2006 featuring two VVER-1200 reactors with the total output capacity of 2,400MW.