VILNIUS – Lithuanian Energy Minister Zygimantas Vaiciunas has on Tuesday called on European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson to step up the review of the stress tests of the Astravyets nuclear power plant in Belarus as the testing of the nuclear facility begins.
In his letter to the European commissioner, Vaiciunas stressed the need to put every effort to ensure that Belarus really implements all stress test recommendations and cooperates with the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG), and the latter should constantly monitor whether Minsk implements the national action on the stress tests.
Russian corporation Rosatom, which is building the Astravyets nuclear facility, confirmed last Friday it had started loading nuclear fuel into the power plant's 1st reactor. Belarus says the first reactor is scheduled to be connected to the country's power system in the fourth quarter of this year, and it could start operating at its full capacity in February, 2021.
Vilnius is the biggest critic of the Astravyets plant and is determined to boycott its electricity. Minsk denies that the facility fails to meet international safety standards.