Lithuanian FM: Belarus fails to comply with safety regulations when constructing NPP

Belarus fails to comply with international safety regulations when constructing the Astravets nuclear power plant, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius said at the meetng with Amos Hochstein, the U.S. Department of State’s Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs.

The Astravets nuclear power plant is being built 50 kilometers from Vilnius. Lithuania has been criticising Belarus for failing to ensure its safety.

Linas Linkevičius also drew attention to the negative impact that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline had on the EU’s energy security, the website of Lithuania’s Foreign Ministry reports.

“Unfortunately, Lithuania’s questions concerning the site selection criteria for the Astravets nuclear power plant, environmental impact analysis, etc., still remain unanswered. The Government of Belarus has not shown any determination to keep its promise to perform a stress test on the nuclear power plant so far.  Therefore, the attention dedicated by the international community to the Astravets nuclear power plant is important for the entire region in the context of nuclear safety,” Mr Linkevičius said after Thursday’s meeting.

Read also: Construction supervisors stealing cement, superiors stealing budget money – Astravets NPP builder

The NPP first power-generating unit is scheduled for commissioning in 2018, the second one – in 2020. The construction of two nuclear reactors is provided in the agreement reached by Belarus and Russia, the reactors being supplied by Atomstroyexport, Russia. The project faced opposition at home and abroad on both safety and political grounds.

At the end of 2015, Lithuania’s Energy Minister Rokas Masiulis tried to talk neighboring countries out of purchasing energy from nuclear power stations that are being constructed in the Belarusian town of Astravets and Russia’s Kaliningrad region. “The energy being produced in violation of international regulation of nuclear safety, security and inter-state environmental impact assessment should not be accepted in the European Union, he said.

Read also: Waste from Astravets NPP to be stored in Belarus for 10 years

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