MINSK, 13 September (BelTA) – The parliament is supposed to give the second reading to a bill on regulating the safety in the course of using atomic energy during the autumn session, BelTA has learned.
An expanded-participation session of the Industry, Fuel and Energy Complex, Transport and Communications Commission of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus took place on 13 September. It focused on improving legal relations in light of the adoption of the bill on regulating the safety in the course of using atomic energy. Members of the lower chamber of the parliament, representatives of the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry (Gosatomnadzor), and the Energy Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus were invited to participate.
The commission's Deputy Chairman Vasily Panasyuk noted the existing law on atomic energy uses was passed in 2008. It provided solid foundation for implementing the Belarusian nuclear power plant construction project. Yet life goes on, scientists come up with new ideas, new technological and organizational approaches are worked out, the MP said. This is why it is necessary to systematize these factors in the new bill on regulating safety in the course of using atomic energy, he said.
The bill provides for comprehensive regulation of safety aspects at all stages of the lifecycle of a nuclear installation starting with the choice of the location and ending with the facility's decommissioning or shutdown. The bill also delineates and emphasizes the responsibility of the relevant central government agencies, which are involved in making decisions concerning the management and regulation of atomic energy uses. The fulfillment of Belarus' international obligations on ensuring nuclear and radiation safety is part of the package, too.
Vasily Panasyuk pointed out that the bill prioritizes safety over commercial aspects of atomic energy uses. Ensuring the protection of life, health, rights and legal interests of citizens, environmental protection are major priorities of the bill. The bill is also aimed at enhancing the image of Belarus in the international scene as a country that shares modern international requirements for safety and security.