IAEA director promises more oversight during visit to Belarus nuclear plant

Yukiya Amano
Sipa Press/Scanpix

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), promised that the organisation would send several missions to Belarus by 2018 to evaluate the power plant’s safety during his visit to the Astravyets nuclear power plant currently being built in Belarus, Yukiya Amano, .

“Belarus has asked us to send seven missions by 2018. The next mission will be in October, and its goal will be to evaluate the national regulator. The existence of a strong and independent regulatory institution is very important for developing nuclear energy,” Amano said during a visit to the Astravyets NPP.

Amano revealed that the IAEA has already been evaluating the safety of the Astravyets Nuclear Power Plant.

“We have already sent missions to evaluate the nuclear infrastructure and intend to send a mission to evaluate the regulatory institution. We also intend to send a location selection evaluation mission, and before the nuclear power plant becomes operational, we also intend to send a special mission that will evaluate the safety of its operation,” said Amano.

“During this visit, we emphasised Belarus’ clear obligation to accept these missions and follow their recommendations,” Amano added.

Lithuania has been a staunch critic of the Astravyets NPP, which is being built about 50km from Vilnius.

Critics say the plant is not nearly safe enough and poses a serious risk to Vilnius residents.

The plant’s first reactor is scheduled to come online in November 2018.

Lithuania Tribune, BNS

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