VILNIUS – As the European Parliament is set on Thursday to vote on a resolution calling for the suspension of the Astravyets nuclear power plant in Belarus, the European Commission vows to closely monitor the project's implementation.
European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson says that experts from the EC and the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG) have carried out the first phase of the current EU peer review on Tuesday and Wednesday. A preliminary report will be prepared and presented to the ENSREG plenary sitting in early March.
"Let me stress one thing: this preliminary report will be very important, but in any case it will not be for us the end of our involvement and our commitment to the full safety of the plant. The ENSREG and the Commission will continue to follow closely the implementing of the remaining recommendations and once pandemic conditions allow the full peer review team will need to visit Belarus to assess the remaining recommendations, at that time they will prepare the final report for endorsement of ENSREG and subsequent publication," Simson told an EP sitting.
"The Commissions' clear position is, that all ENSREG safety recommendations should be address by Belarus without delay," she underlined.
Cristian-Silviu Busoi, a Romanian MEP who presented the issue to the EP, says that Minsk's hasty commercial start of the plant is unacceptable.
"The nuclear power plant of Astravyets should not start its operation until it has been demonstrated that it fully complies with the highest international environmental and nuclear safety standards," he said before the EP vote.
The MEP invited the European Commission to further cooperate on the Astravyets NPP issue.
The resolution calls for the suspension of the Belarusian nuclear plant's commercial operation until all safety recommendations are implemented. The European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) backed the document in late January.