Experts from the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG) are expected at the Belarusian NPP in a week. This is already the second attempt of the European inspectors to visit the plant. In December, they themselves canceled a three-day visit. Previously, the heads of EU countries urged the European Commission to look for ways to block the import of electricity from nuclear power plants that do not meet EU safety requirements. A corresponding provision was included in the conclusions of the meeting of the European Council, initiated by Lithuania for a broader agreement to boycott the Belarusian nuclear power plant.
ENSREG experts from nine countries will come to Belarus on February 9-10, BelNPP deputy chief engineer for safety and reliability Rinat Valeev told Interfax-West. According to him, there will be representatives of Lithuania and Ukraine, among others. The experts’ task will be to review the national action plan based on the results of the 2018 stress tests.
“During the preparatory work for this visit, we tried as much as possible to meet with the expert group so that it could get acquainted with all the issues of interest to it. Some details were discussed in detail in advance. There were also requests that, perhaps, did not quite fit into the usual format of such visits, for example, to organize a videoconference so that experts could discuss aspects of the materials being analyzed online with their colleagues if necessary. We responded – we provided this opportunity,” added the Deputy Chief Safety and Reliability Engineer of BelNPP.
The peer-review will consist of two visits. The most important and longest one is scheduled for May-June, after which the expert group will prepare a final report.
In December, European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson said that the European Council entrusted the European Commission with the obligation to check whether the safety level of BelNPP meets the requirements for importing electricity to the European Union according to European standards.
The Ministry of Energy reported that the NPPs carried out stress tests by the procedure of the European Union on a voluntary basis. “The stress test criteria included testing the reliability of the nuclear power plant in case of natural disasters, in particular, earthquakes and floods, as well as various man-made accidents. In addition, the criteria included a wide range of risks caused by the human factor,” the agency said. Based on the stress tests, Gosatomnadzor MES prepared a National Action Plan, it said. It contains 23 activities in 2019-2025 and some of the recommendations have already been implemented.
As EADaily reported earlier, the Baltic States and Poland fundamentally do not want to deal with electricity from Belarus after the launch of the nuclear power plant. Ukraine is also going to “swim” into the European energy system.