Belarus has made important progress in its development of nuclear infrastructure, the United Nations atomic agency said in a report released today, adding that should progress continue the country will be able to support the construction of a nuclear power plant in the near future.
The Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR), produced by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), makes 16 recommendations to the Government of Belarus, including revising its nuclear legislation to adequately address issues like radioactive waste, strengthening the regulatory body and framework for licensing, and developing comprehensive management systems for the nuclear project.
“The report acknowledges Belarus’ strong expertise in radiation protection and environmental monitoring and recognizes that good coordination in the development of Belarus’ nuclear power programme is beneficial,” said the IAEA’s Deputy Director General, Alexander Bychkov, after delivering the report to the country’s Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly Tozik.
The report also makes specific suggestions about Belarus’ infrastructure development activities, based on guidance contained in the IAEA Milestones in the Development of a National Infrastructure for Nuclear Power publication.
“Belarus has already implemented some of the recommendations that we shared with them in June, and the Government plans to implement all the remaining ones,” said Mr. Bychkov “This shows that the country is taking the report seriously.”
Belarus began considering nuclear power in the 1980s and recently renewed its efforts. The Concept of Energy Security of the Republic of Belarus, promulgated in September 2007, called for commissioning two nuclear power plant units by 2020.
This year’s INIR mission to Belarus was the seventh mission conducted by the IAEA. Belarus has utilized two other IAEA services to help prepare its national nuclear program: an energy planning analysis from 2007 to 2010, and a nuclear energy system assessment from 2010 to 2011.