Experts from the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG) are expected at the Belarusian nuclear power plant in a week | TOP-NEWS
Experts from the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG) are expected at the Belarusian nuclear power plant in a week

Experts from the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG) are expected at the Belarusian nuclear power plant in a week

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.

“First of all, they will visit BelNPP facilities to see on the spot how the work to implement the measures of the plan is lined up. The experts are expected to divide into three subgroups, with a different route prepared for each. The experts will visit the control building of the first power unit, emergency control point, fire station, standby diesel power plant building, reactor building of Unit 2, a full-scale simulator of the training center and other facilities,” said Rinat Valeyev. According to him, the experts will also read and analyze materials with information on the implementation of measures of the national action plan on the results of 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.

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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.

Aleksandr Uvarov, director of AtomInfo-Center, told EADaily that the European regulators had not found any blocking aspects during the previous inspection of BelNPP. “They had questions and recommendations, which is natural for partnership checks. The Belarusian party paid attention to them, took something into account, and gave explanations. It is normal, I emphasize, working process in which all participants are interested in one thing – in ensuring the safety of the nuclear power plant,” – said the expert. According to him, the expert group is headed by a representative of one of the most respected regulatory authorities in the world, the Finnish STUK, and if there is no political order, all remaining issues and misunderstandings will be resolved in the working order. “If there is a political contract, one should address politicians and not the nuclear specialists for comments,” said Alexander Uvarov.

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.

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