IAEA's Yukiya Amano impressed with Belarus' Ostrovets NPP

IAEA's Yukiya Amano impressed with Belarus' Ostrovets NPP

Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko and IAEA Director General discussed the security and economy of the peaceful atom. The sides noted the high level of cooperation in this sphere. Yukiya Amano visited today in Ostrovets (Astraviec), where he shared impressions of the most large-scale construction of our country.

IAEA is the largest international organization, which controls the use of peaceful nuclear energy. It brings together 168 countries. Belarus is a country-founder. In September 2015 the country joined the elite club of 35 - the IAEA Board of Governors.

The IAEA Director General represents Japan, which runs 50 reactors. Yukiya Amano was elected chairman of the organization two years before the accident at Fukushima. He knows that a realistic assessment of the security of projects is the most vital when it comes to peaceful atom .

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
We are building our own nuclear power plant. And I would like you to visit that station and personally see the priorities we are pursuing in the construction of the NPP. But first of all, the safety of the nuclear power plant. You do know the level of safety of such stations. All the countries that have this technology made appropriate conclusions not only after the Chernobyl disaster but also in connection with the accident at the nuclear power plant Fukushima in your country. Therefore, we stick to this priority above all in the construction of the NPP.

Among other priorities is the use of domestic materials and equipment. All that can be made in Belarus is made here. This is a condition of the contract with a company that is building the station. Almost 84% of construction and installation work has been completed by national organizations. The same principle is in force in the selection of specialists for the Belarusian NPP.

Alexander Lukashenko:
You know our keen interest in the fact that only high-class specialists must work at this station. We have done a lot for this, we trained them and literally collected them from all over the globe. We have created a very modern training center at this nuclear power plant. And we are ready to work with your organization in the same way as we worked up to today. We are in close contact with the IAEA, we are fulfilling all your recommendations, and I must tell you that if you have any comments in the course of building the new nuclear power station, we will certainly follow them. You know our attitude to nuclear materials. We will do everything to ensure the full protection of nuclear materials. We will do everything to ensure that no one even thinks about taking possession of such nuclear materials with a view to terrorist action or something along these lines. You know that the world is not quiet in this sense and we are paying serious attention to this.

Belarus is a valuable partner for IAEA, says Yukiya Amano. The experience of the republic at some point turned out to be invaluable for his own country. It was on the recommendation of the current head of the IAEA that Japan purchased radiation detection equipment in Belarus. Belarusian tools 4 years ago received a quarter of the market in Japan.

Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA):
I wanted very much to re-visit your country to see the progress in your country during the past four years. Belarus is a valuable partner for the IAEA. There is important technical cooperation between the Agency and your country, especially with regard to nuclear power plant construction directly. It is pleasing that during the construction of this important site, you are in constant contact with the IAEA.

Today, the leading energy specialists from Belarus, Russia and other experts gathered in Minsk. The main topic of the conference is the pace of construction of the Ostrovets NPP. The first power unit will become operational in less than three years, the second by July 2020.

Mikhail Mikhadyuk, Deputy Minister of Energy of the Republic of Belarus:
As of today, about 38% of construction and assembly work has been completed. Ahead is equipment installation and commissioning. This is also a great deal of work. Financing is according to schedule too.

Alexander Lokshin, Deputy Director General for operational management of the state corporation Rosatom (Russia):
The construction is really on schedule. We don't have any fears that we will not be on time by 2018. The second block is a little ahead of schedule. The first unit is going as planned. Discipline and experience are the most important things.

Belarus decided to pick Ostrovets from other 70 potential NPP sites in 2011. The third-generation project proposed by a Russian corporation won the tender and guarantees safety. The probability of an accident at such stations is estimated to be one in ten million years. Even today's IAEA guest not often visited the facilities of this level.

Yukiya Amano asked about many small details. From a training complex of the central control unit to the reactor, which is under construction. This is the second time the IAEA head has visited the Belarusian nuclear power plant site.Changes seem to be impressive, judging by the official's face.

Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA):
I was pleased that systematic work is carried out at this station and the fact that you are constantly hosting IAEA experts here, which emphasizes your openness and readiness of Belarus to cooperate with the international nuclear community. It should be noted that Belarus is the most prepared among the newcomers to the world nuclear club.

Nuclear energy experts visited the Belarusian nuclear power plant several times and by the end of the construction further seven visits are expected. Yukiya Amano plans to time the next visit to the opening of the station. He promised to bring his wife to enjoy the beautiful views and taste the local cuisine.

Vladimir Semashko, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus:
We have established business relationships with the IAEA. We clearly follow IAEA recommendations and we are always present at all the activities of the IAEA.  Some Belarusians are in IAEA governing bodies and we welcome IAEA missions.

The building is close to the equator. The Belarusian NPP costs about $8 billion. Of these, $3 billion will be spent on infrastructure in the town of Ostrovets. It should become a garden town and a nuclear workers' center of Belarus.

Every year, nuclear power plants in Europe help avoid releasing 700 million tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. In Japan, the figure is 270 and in Russia 210. Environmental and economic pros are known. But one must not forget about safety, and Belarus pays very serious attention to it.  The Belarusian NPP project has earned a reputation as one of the most modern and safest in the world.