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VATESI refused to participate in Belarusian public hearings, in which it will not have right to speak

State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate (VATESI) received an invitation from Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Belarus (MES) to attend online public hearings organised on April 30, 2021 before issuing a license to operate the Unit 1 of Belarusian NPP. VATESI was invited to observe the event without active involvement in the course of its conduction.

In the reply letter it is pointed out that VATESI has reminded in its letter of March 31, 2021 to MES that the vast majority of Belarusian NPP safety issues, raised by VATESI, are still open despite long-lasting correspondence. Also it was repeated that regulating safety is national responsibility, including timely implementation of all safety improvements in accordance with modern international safety requirements. Due to that VATESI encouraged MES, being in charge of regulating nuclear safety, to suspend the commissioning and operation of Unit 1 of Belarusian NPP until implementation of all safety improvement measures, including those determined during the stress tests, as well as resolution of all other indicated safety issues.

Taking into account a big number of unresolved safety issues, VATESI has refused from participation in the public hearings, in which it would not have right to speak.

Belarusian authorities, regulating nuclear safety in Belarus, were urged instead of preparing to issue an operation licence to concentrate all efforts to analyse and resolve all outstanding safety issues of Belarusian NPP. Only a responsible approach to safety would serve the best interests not only of citizens of Belarus and Lithuania, but also of other neighbouring countries.