MINSK, 4 November (BelTA) – Russian experience was taken into account in the course of drafting Belarus' radioactive waste management strategy. Head of the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry (Gosatomnadzor) Olga Lugovskaya mentioned it during a conference held to discuss the draft strategy, BelTA has learned.
In line with the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management the state is fully responsible for these matters. Every country takes measures to ensure reliable protection from radiological risks and other risks at all stages of management of radioactive waste. A presidential decree stipulated additional tasks in this area, including tasks for Gosatomnadzor. Developing a radioactive waste management strategy was one of the main tasks. “We have put together a community of experts, who are specialists in their own fields of expertise, and a working group in charge of preparing the strategy. The team consisted of representatives of Gosatomnadzor, the Energy Ministry, the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, and other bodies. Our Russian colleagues, in particular, TVEL Fuel Company, which is the basic CIS organization in charge of radioactive waste management, helped us a lot in the course of reviewing various approaches to working out the strategy. A number of meetings with various experts took place. Field trips were arranged. We had to see how everything is organized in the Russian Federation,” Olga Lugovskaya said.
The draft radioactive waste management strategy has implemented fundamental principles of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that ensure safety in the course of handling of radioactive waste.
The legislation stipulates it is necessary to arrange public hearings about the documents that may potentially affect ecological safety. The procedure with regard to the draft radioactive waste management strategy began on 5 October. The document was published by the national legal information registry and by the Gosatomnadzor website within one month. “Everyone was able to get familiar with it and ask questions. The final stage of the public hearings is now,” the official said.
A meeting took place in Minsk on 4 November to discuss the draft radioactive waste management strategy.
The event gathered representatives of the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry (Gosatomnadzor), the Energy Ministry, the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry, the Healthcare Ministry, the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, the Belarusian National Technical University, the International Sakharov Environmental Institute of the Belarusian State University. Citizens and legal persons concerned were also invited to participate. Olga Lugovskaya noted that answers will be given to all the questions, all the remarks will be looked into.
“Discussions are proceeding with active participation of the general public. They are supposed to result in a polished draft that takes into account all the remarks and proposals,” she said.