Home Sitemap


Lithuania at the ENSREG meeting required to suspend the commissioning of Belarusian NPP until all safety issues will be resolved

On 9−10 November 2020, European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG) held plenary meeting where peer review process of Belarusian national action plan (NAcP) on implementation of stress tests’ recommendations was discussed.

“Successful accomplishment of the EU Peer Review of the NAcP and implementation of all the stress tests’ report and its peer review recommendations would serve the interests of all ENSREG members and promote a high level of nuclear safety near EU borders and worldwide”, − says State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate (VATESI) Head Michail Demčenko.

Unfortunately, in the course of the peer review of the NAcP Belarus further maintains position that the stress tests did not identify any safety deficits of the NPP. Such approach should not be tolerated.

Meanwhile, on 3 November 2020, it was announced that the first unit of the Belarusian NPP has been connected to the grid and first electricity has been produced, indicating that safety is not the first priority for Belarusian authorities.

Belarusian nuclear regulatory authority (Gosatomnadzor) 40 days later than was initially agreed has provided to Peer Review Team (PRT) direct answers only to 1 of 4 sets of questions submitted by PRT to Belarus. Up to date, Belarus did not provide answers to remaining 3 sets of questions, including one from Lithuania.

“We call upon all ENSREG members to urge Belarus to respond to all PRT members’ questions without any delay and to resolve all indicated safety issues”, − says M. Demčenko.

Preliminary analysis of provided answers shows that probabilistic seismic hazard assessment (PSHA) is not completed. Accordingly, justification that the adequacy of the margins of all structures, systems and components with respect to the design basis and beyond design basis earthquake for ensuring their integrity and function in accordance with their role in support of defence-in-depth levels is not completed and, what is the most important, real safety improvement measures related to Belarusian NPP seismic design is not implemented. PRT recommended to upgrade the fire extinguishing system, which is currently not seismically resistant. It appears from the answers that Belarus is not going to implement corresponding safety improvement measures.


Also, the PRT recommendation to prevent severe accidents arising in the open reactor condition in the case of a total loss of external and emergency power supply to the unit is not implemented. In addition, Belarus is not going to implement the PRT recommendation to install additional pump for the prevention and management of severe accidents.

Taking into consideration the poor progress of implementation of PRT recommendations, importance of safety issues indicated by ENSREG experts, especially taking into account closeness of Ostrovets site to the EU border and highly populated areas, Lithuania requires that all safety improvement recommendations would be implemented without delay. Without delay − should mean that Belarus should suspend the commissioning of the first unit of its NPP until the completion of ENSREG peer review of Belarusian NAcP and resolution of all indicated safety issues.