Something to hide at NPP? Lithuania accuses Belarus of selectively applying safety standards

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania has received an answer from the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano to the letter of Lithuania’s Foreign Minister and the Minister of Energy of 3 January 2017.

The IAEA representatives confirmed that Belarus was hosting an incomplete Site and External Events Design (SEED) mission of the IAEA on 16-20 January. According to them, it is the host country that decided on the scope of the mission, not the IAEA.

“We are very concerned that Belarus applies nuclear safety standards selectively. This is unacceptable,” said Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius.

The selective application of nuclear safety standards implied a conclusion that the Astravets NPP developers had something to hide, Lithuania’s Foreign Minister noted.

“Belarus has skipped the assessment of the site and invited the IAEA SEED mission, which is likely to be limited to the assessment of the NPP design safety. The IAEA SEED mission is to assess only those modules that were selected by Belarus. The country will then publicly disseminate information about the positive findings thus misleading both its own society and foreign countries,” he stressed.

Although Lithuania called on Belarus to invite the SEED mission for a full-scope assessment review of the site and design safety, the selection criteria of the construction site and its suitability, the scope of the ongoing mission in Belarus is likely to be limited to the assessment of the NPP design safety, Lithuanian diplomats suggest.

Lithuania is the main critic of the idea of the Belarusian nuclear power plant, which is only 20 km from the border and 50 km from Vilnius. Minsk rejects Lithuania’s claims, arguing that nuclear power plants will have high safety standards. Vilnius asked Brussels for involvement of the European Union in the matter., following Lithuanian MFA

See also