Belarus makes ‘important progress’ towards nuclear power

2 July 2012

Belarus has made important progress in its development of nuclear infrastructure for a nuclear power programme, an IAEA review by a team of international experts has concluded. The Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission said that Belarus is on its way to being well-prepared with its infrastructure to support the construction of a nuclear power plant.

"The results of the INIR mission will be useful to us as we progress to strengthen the national nuclear infrastructure," said Mikhail Mikhadiuk, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Energy. The INIR mission was conducted under an IAEA technical cooperation project

"The mission team made 17 recommendations and 25 specific suggestions to assist the national authorities in preparing the infrastructure necessary to implement the project," according to J.K. Park, IAEA Director for Nuclear Power and INIR mission team leader.

The recommendations included further legislative steps for Belarus to consider taking, as well as suggestions for meeting the IAEA milestones for development of a national infrastructure for nuclear power, the IAEA said.

"We also recognised that Belarus has strong expertise especially in radiation protection, and environmental monitoring," Park said. The team also singled out the benefit of Belarus having good coordination within development of its nuclear power programme.

Belarus began considering nuclear power in the 1980s and recently renewed its efforts. The "Concept of Energy Security of the Republic of Belarus" decree, promulgated in September 2007, called for the commissioning of two NPP units by 2020. Belarus has signed inter-governmental agreements with the Russian Federation for two 1170 megawatt-electric (MWe) units as well as fuel supply, take-back of spent fuel, training and other services.

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