Lithuania called on Minsk to stop the operation and start-up of power units 1 and 2 of the Belarusian nuclear power plant in Astravets. The corresponding requirement is contained in a letter from the Lithuanian State Inspectorate for the Safety of Nuclear Energy (GIBAE) to the Ministry of Emergency Situations (MES) of Belarus.
The letter asks that the nuclear power plant not be operated until all nuclear safety issues are resolved.
“Most of the issues of ensuring nuclear safety have not yet been resolved. GIBAE reminded that they are still waiting for answers to the safety questions raised related to site selection and evaluation, the stability of certain safety-critical equipment of the Belarusian NPP to seismic events and the consequences of a large commercial aircraft crash, the implementation of recommendations on stress tests, a probabilistic safety assessment, an assessment fire risk and other safety issues, — stated in the message GIBAE.
GIBAE also asked the Belarusian side to clarify the published information that the cooling circuit of the reactor of the 2nd power unit of the station was contaminated with organic substances, and the secondary circulation circuit of the 1st power unit was contaminated with radionuclides. The Lithuanian inspectorate is also asking for clarifications on “deficiencies in the fastening of the reactor pressure vessel”, as well as “on identified defects and work in progress”.
“The goal is to receive information from Belarus on the established limit values for the activity of radionuclides released into the environment. GIBAE also calls on the Ministry of Emergency Situations and other responsible institutions of Belarus to publish the recommendations made during international expert missions and the results of their implementation, to provide additional information that is necessary for more accurate forecasting of possible accidental releases”, – said in GIBAE.
It is noted that copies of the letter were sent to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the European Commission, the European Nuclear Safety Regulatory Group (ENSREG) and the Association of Western European Nuclear Regulators (WENRA).
Recall that Belarus is completing the construction of its first nuclear power plant in the Grodno region, which consists of two power units. The first of them was officially launched in the fall of 2020, and on May 13, 2023, the second one was also connected to the network for the first time. Lithuania has always opposed the construction of the BelNPP, as it believes that the plant does not meet accepted safety standards. In Minsk, as well as in the IAEA, such statements are called false.