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Belarus NPP project presented in Vienna

MINSK, 19 September (BelTA) – The presentation of the Belarusian nuclear power plant construction project took place in Vienna on 18 September. The event was held for the first time as part of the 57th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), BelTA learnt from the Embassy of Belarus in Austria.

The presentation titled Belarus’ NPP Construction Project: Progress Status, was held open to the public and aroused great interest among its participants. Delegations of the IAEA member countries as well as the IAEA Secretariat were invited to take part in the briefing.

The presentation included a video clip about Belarus, prepared especially for the IAEA briefing, and a showcasing of materials about the implementation of the project and development of an independent regulatory body Gosatomnadzor.

After the presentation the Belarusian delegation answered various questions that covered technical aspects of the nuclear power plant project, the economic side of the project, the activity of the regulatory body, environmental impact assessment on the regional stage, Belarus’ fulfillment of its international commitments within the Espoo Convention, criteria of the choose of the site for the construction of the nuclear power plant.

At the IAEA session that is taking place in Vienna on 16-20 September the Belarusian delegation is headed by First Deputy Emergencies Minister Vasily Stepanenko who spoke at the general debates.

Vasily Stepanenko emphasized the high authority of the IAEA as the leading international intergovernmental organization set up to promote safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies.

In his speech, Vasily Stepanenko noted that, as the St Petersburg international high level conference, Nuclear Power in the 21st Century, showed, for many countries nuclear energy development is economically sound and environmentally friendly. The same ideas were laid at the basis of the decision taken in 2008 to construct the first nuclear power plant in Belarus. According to the preliminary estimates, the construction of the nuclear power plant will allow to substitute about 5 billion m3 of natural gas, reduce the prime cost of electricity production and replace outdated and inefficient generating capacities.

The head of the Belarusian delegation expressed satisfaction of the cooperation level with the supplying country, the Russian Federation, taking note of successful collaboration in the issues of construction and infrastructure and joint work on the signed international agreements in nuclear security and the currently-developing agreement on early notification of a nuclear accident and the exchange of information in the field of nuclear and radiation safety.

Vasily Stepanenko also emphasized safety and reliability as the absolute priorities for the construction of the nuclear power plant in Belarus, the country’s commitment to the implementation of the IAEA standards and norms as well as other international commitments in the nuclear area, including within regional international legal instruments. In his words, Belarus makes an active use of the Agency’s instruments aimed at supporting the countries developing nuclear energy. A number of IAEA expert missions have already visited Belarus, including the integrated nuclear infrastructure review mission (INIR mission) of the International Atomic Energy Agency in June 2012. The work on the given recommendations is underway. The INIR report is available on the IAEA website.