Security & Safety

Lithuania / Regulator Signs Nuclear Safety Agreement With Belarus

By David Dalton
25 May 2020

Regulator Signs Nuclear Safety Agreement With Belarus
Belarus is building two Russia-supplied nuclear units near the border wth Lithuania.
Lithuania’s nuclear regulator has signed an agreement with Belarus’s ministry of emergency situations on the early notification of emergencies in nuclear facilities and the exchange of nuclear safety information.

State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate, or Vatesi, said such bilateral agreements between neighbouring countries are “usual international practice”.

According to the agreement, both countries agreed to immediately provide information in the event of an emergency and if radiation monitoring systems indicate a radiation dose-rate level “that could be hazardous to the public health”. The agreement also covers the exchange of information about the safety of all nuclear facilities in Belarus and Lithuania and decisions that are taken in either country to ensure that safety.

Vatesi said the agreement allows it to notify “other responsible authorities” in the event of a possible emergency.

“As nuclear fuel has already been delivered to the Belarussian nuclear station at Ostrovets and commissioning of the first unit is being continued, the potential risk of nuclear or radiological emergency has already appeared,” Vatesi said in an email to NucNet.

“Lithuania has consistently taken the position that Belarusian nuclear station should not be commissioned before implementation of all international environmental and nuclear safety requirements.”

Belarus does not have any commercial nuclear plants in operation, but there are two 1,109-MW Russian VVER-1200 reactor units under construction near the town of Ostrovets close to the border with Lithuania. Construction of Unit 1 began in November 2013 and of Unit 2 in April 2014.

Lithuania has two commercial nuclear plants, Ignalina-1 and Ignalina-2, that have both been permanently shut down.

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