A reactor pressure vessel was installed as part of the second power-generating unit of the NPP being built in Astravets, the press service of the Russian group of companies ASE, which is the general designer and the general contractor for the project to build Belarus’ first nuclear power plant, reported on Monday.
“It’s funny how Belarusian nuclear experts who have no information about what Russian contractor installed are putting a brave face on a sorry business. We do not know in what condition this reactor vessel is! As far as I am concerned, the Belarusian side has no control over what the Russian contractor delivered. In turn, Russian contractors do not care – they get money from the state budget and will construct [the NPP] even if it is dangerous,” Russian nuclear physicist Andrey Ozharovsky said in Belsat TV program Hot Commentary.
According to Ozharovsky, the results of stress tests to which the Belarusian authorities refer are hardly credible.
In early November, the Department of Nuclear and Radiation Safety of the Emergencies Ministry published a national report on the results of nuclear safety stress tests at the Astravets power plant. According to the department, the NPP, which is based on the Russian design of the latest generation “3+”, fully complies with international safety standards.
“Belarus contracted the Russian side to hold those stress tests – that is, Rosatom ran a check on itself! This is ridiculous. Stress tests should be conducted in accordance with the European method – i.e. with the help of nuclear experts who are independent from the contractor. It also should be noted that conducting stress tests does not involve any work with equipment, but paper work. And usually we have it as the saying goes: „It was very smooth on paper, wish we had a bloody grader.” Let us recall the Chernobyl papers were in thorough order on April 26, 1986. Therefore, these stress tests do not mean anything,” the expert stressed.