The Lithuanian and U.S. defense ministries have begun cooperating on radiological monitoring of the environment
The U.S. equipment is designed to detect xenon radionuclides produced during nuclear reactions. Based on the measurements obtained, it is possible to assess the operation of nearby nuclear power plants or other nuclear facilities.
“We especially appreciate the long years of cooperation with Lithuania in the field of nuclear safety. Our latest movie, the placement of this equipment in Lithuania, strengthens our ties and the high level of technical cooperation on nuclear and physical safety issues,” said U.S. Ambassador to Lithuania Robert Gilchrist.
The American equipment, which will soon be installed in Lithuania, is capable of detecting changes in radiation background within a radius of thousands of kilometers. It is planned that it will operate in the territory of the country for at least one year. The monitoring data obtained with equipment will be used by the Radiation Protection Center, Lithuanian scientists and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency of the USA.
It is worth reminding that there is a Belarusian nuclear power plant in the Grodno region, 50 km away from Vilnius. Its first power unit was launched on November 7. Lithuania declared the plant a threat to national security; residents of the capital are provided with free iodine preparations.
In addition, on February 9 and 10, nine experts from Austria, Belgium, Britain, Hungary, Germany, Lithuania, Ukraine, and Finland worked at BelNPP. The event was organized as part of the partner review of the National Action Plan on the results of the stress tests of the plant. The experts visited the facilities of the plant, got acquainted with the materials which reflected the information on the implementation of the measures of the National Action Plan following the stress tests, and also asked questions to the representatives of Gosatomnadzor, Nuclear Power Department of the Ministry of Energy, the group of designers and the nuclear power plant specialists themselves.
As far back as last year, Lithuania asked the United States for assistance in ensuring the safety of the BelNPP. The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry stressed that the operation of the facility started without regard to the safety parameters.