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European Commission Visits BelNPP Construction Site

The European Commission led by Deputy Director General for Energy Gerassimos Thomas spent two days in Belarus. The main purpose of the visit and a matter of discussion were stress tests and the safety of the Belarusian nuclear power plant.

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Belarus has demonstrated openness in matters concerning the construction of the nuclear power plant, Gerassimos Thomas told journalists after visiting the construction site on 20 September.

“We aim at developing cooperation in the energy sector, not only regarding the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant, but also in the sphere of renewable and alternative energy.”

“As for the nuclear power plant, the regulating agency and the customer gave us a lot of information about the project in two days. They openly shared the information available at the moment”, Gerassimos Thomas said.

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The European Union may provide additional technical support to Belarus if needed. For two days the European specialists were sharing their experience of conducting nuclear stress tests – in Switzerland, Armenia and Taiwan.

The Commission expects that the Belarusian regulator will inform European colleagues about the schedule for the relevant works.

According to the head of the delegation, Belarus has committed to carry out stress tests in accordance with the procedures used in other countries. But the Belarusian regulator must approve the tests schedule itself.

Deputy Energy Minister of Belarus Mikhail Mikhadyuk noted that the members of the delegation were given an overview the energy sector in Belarus.

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The sides did not discuss the claims of Lithuania regarding the safety of the Belarusian NPP.

“This visit was a technical one. Because the procedure is new for us, we chose to concentrate on the technical aspects. We tried to learn how stress tests are carried out in Europe in order to make a final decision on them”, the head of the Belarusian regulator Gosatomnadzor, Olga Lugovskaya, said.

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A European Commission delegation led by Gerassimos Thomas was in Belarus on a working visit on 19-20 September.

The sides discussed a large number of matters concerning the implementation of the first Belarusian nuclear energy program. Stress testing the nuclear power plant (evaluation of risks and safety) was the main theme of the visit. Representatives of the European Commission visited the Belarusian nuclear power plant construction site on 20 September.