The Lithuanian State Security Department (VSD) suspects that another incident occurred last week at a nuclear power plant that Belarus is building in Astravets, just 50 kilometres from Vilnius.
“I can confirm that the State Security Department is verifying information about a probable incident at the Belarusian nuclear power plant,” Vytautas Makauskas, Spokesman for the State Security Department, said.
According Lithuania’s Environment Minister Kęstutis Trečiokas, the situation might have been ‘more serious’ than the former.
In turn, the Belarusian Energy Ministry states that there have been no new incidents during the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant in Astravets.
On 8 April 2016, there was a collapse of the structural frame of the would-be nuclear service building at Astravets NPP, of which Belsat.eu was informed in early May.
At first, Eduard Sviryd, the spokesman for the Astravets NPP, denied our report saying that there had not been any incidents at the construction site. State-run mass media remained silent as well. After the publication Lithuania summoned Belarus’ ambassador and handed him a diplomatic note demanding explanation over the reported incident.
Later, Deputy Energy Minister of Belarus Vadzim Zakreuski confirmed the information published on belsat.eu.
Evaldas Ignatavičius, Lithuania’s Ambassador to Belarus, was invited to visit the construction site, but he refused saying that security experts should evaluate the situation, not diplomats..
The Belarusian NPP in Astravets is being constructed by Russia’s nuclear corporation Rosatom.
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.