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04 June 2024, 15:53

Minister explains BelNPP spent fuel management system

MOSCOW, 4 June (BelTA) – Belarusian Energy Minister Viktor Karankevich explained how the spent nuclear fuel management system will be organized at the Belarusian nuclear power plant (BelNPP) as he spoke at the meeting of the Commission on Energy of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union State of Belarus and Russia in Moscow on 4 June, BelTA has learned.  

According to the minister, the intergovernmental agreement between Belarus and Russia on cooperation in spent nuclear fuel management of 21 November 2022 provides for the conclusion of a framework contract to ensure safe management of the BelNPP spent nuclear fuel. This contract should define the scope of cooperation, rights and obligations of authorized and involved organizations, financial and other aspects of the partnership.

“Possibilities are studied to set up an accumulation site to store spent nuclear fuel from the BelNPP in the country, including the construction of an intermediate container-type storage facility. This will make it possible to optimize transport and technological operations related to the preparation and subsequent shipment of spent nuclear fuel for reprocessing to the Russian Federation,” he said.

According to him, joint work in this area is carried out with the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders - relevant ministries, agencies, specialized organizations. Research and survey works on selection of a priority site for a radioactive waste storage facility in Belarus continue. During the development of pre-design and design documentation for the technological part of the project and the development of its physical protection, it is planned to involve specialized organizations of the Rosatom State Corporation as a consultant, developer and supplier of technologies, given the extensive practical experience in this area. “Consultations are held with Russia on the development and signing of an intergovernmental agreement on the design and construction of this facility,” Viktor Karankevich said.

In his words, the Union State is working on a new program to ensure safety in radioactive waste management: the Emergencies Ministry is the responsible executor on Belarus’ behalf.

“Nuclear and radiation safety issues remain an absolute priority for Belarus. This is an unchangeable requirement of the head of state. A lot of work has already been done in this area as part of the BelNPP construction, including the development of the nuclear and radiation safety system and its most important elements. In our future work we will also adhere to the highest safety requirements, of course, being guided by the best experience of our strategic partner - Rosatom State Corporation, both in terms of further operation of the nuclear power plant and in the development of an actually new area for us, which is radioactive waste management and creation of the relevant infrastructure,” Viktor Karankevich said.
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