VILNIUS – Lithuania has called on Minsk repeatedly to suspend operation of the Belarusian nuclear power plant (NPP) in Astravyets until all nuclear safety issues are resolved.
Lithuania’s State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate (VATESI) sent a respective letter to the Belarusian Ministry of Emergency Situations (MES), which acts in Belarus as nuclear safety regulator, in late October.
“We do not receive information about the safety improvement measures implemented during the planned maintenance of the Unit 1 of the Belarusian NPP and the construction and commissioning of the Unit 2, therefore Lithuania's position does not change - the Belarusian NPP must not be operated until all safety issues are resolved,” VATESI head Michail Demcenko said in a press release on Wednesday.
In its letter to the MES, VATESI reminded that it still lacked specific information about the selection and evaluation of the nuclear facility’s construction site, about NPP equipment resistance to seismic events and to the effects of a large civil aircraft crash, implementation of stress tests recommendations, probabilistic safety assessment, fire hazard analysis and other safety assessment issues.
VATESI also called on the MES and other responsible Belarusian authorities to publish all international expert mission recommendations and their implementation results and once again reminded MES to provide additional information, which is necessary for more accurate forecasting of releases during possible accidents.