MINSK, May 25, 2020, (PrimePress) - Lithuania and Belarus signed an agreement on early warning of nuclear accidents on May 25, 2020 and exchanged information about nuclear facilities and their activities, the State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate (VATESI) of Lithuania reports.
The agreement provides for the immediate exchange of information in the event of a nuclear accident and emission of ionizing radiation hazardous to human health, as well as information on safety of nuclear facilities. Such agreements between neighbouring countries comply with the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident.
Regardless of the agreement, Lithuania keeps raising questions about environmental protection and nuclear safety of the Belarusian nuclear power plant (Astravyets District, Grodno Oblast), and wants its commissioning stopped until all international requirements are met. The parliament of Lithuania considers the Belarusian NPP a threat to its national security.
Deputy Energy Minister of Belarus Mikhail Mikhadiuk reported in May 2020 that nuclear fuel for the first power unit was delivered to the NPP on May 6, 2020. Minister of Energy of Belarus Viktor Karankevich said that the reactor of the first power unit would be put into operation in July 2020, and energy would be supplied to the national grid from September or October 2020.
Belarus’ first nuclear power plant in Ostrovets (a town in the Grodno Region also referred to as Astravyets) will have two units with a combined capacity of up to 2,400 megawatts, which are slated to be launched in 2019 and 2020, respectively. The Belarusian nuclear station’s design stems from the AES-2006 design developed by the St Petersburg-based institute Atomenergoproject, which is also the general contractor of the Belarusian project.