4 Jul (NucNet): EU regulators have concluded that the Belarusian nuclear power station under construction near the town of Ostrovets complies with the bloc’s risk and safety assessments – so-called “stress tests” – but made a number of recommendations to the national regulator.
A European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (Ensreg) peer review gave the Ostrovets nuclear power plant, which is close to the Lithuanian border, an “overall positive” review, following a site investigation that took place in March.
The stress tests are meant to ensure nuclear power plants comply with strict criteria established by the International Atomic Energy Agency and were established by the European Commission and Ensreg as a direct reaction to the earthquake and tsunami that caused the shutdown of the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear station in Japan in March 2011.
The peer review team, which reviewed an earlier stress test report prepared by Belarus, comprised of 17 members, two representatives from the EC and three observers: one from the IAEA, one from Russia and one from Iran.
The team praised the Belarusian authorities for complying with the review, even though Belarus had no obligation to do so because it is not an EU member state.
Following the Fukushima-Daiichi accident, the EU carried out stress tests of all its nuclear power plants and also invited interested non-EU countries to take part in the exercise.
In a detailed report, Ensreg addressed three main areas: the site’s resilience to extreme natural events like earthquakes and flooding; the capacity of the plant to respond to electric power outages and loss of heat sink; and severe accident management.
According to the findings, the site is resistant to earthquakes, flooding and extreme weather, although the investigators warned that seismic data was not fully available and called on the regulator to make sure run-off water cannot enter safety-related buildings.
There are two 1,109-MW Russian VVER-1200 reactor units under construction at the Belarusian nuclear station. Construction of Unit 1 began in November 2013 and of Unit 2 in April 2014.
The final peer review report is online: https://bit.ly/2NnOixf