The International Atomic Energy Agency today delivered the final report from an IAEA Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission to Belarus. The report concludes that Belarus has made important progress in its development of nuclear infrastructure for a nuclear power programme and that Belarus is on its way to being well-prepared with its infrastructure to support the construction of a nuclear power plant. The report makes 16 recommendations and 22 specific recommendations to assist the national authorities in preparing the infrastructure necessary for the project.
"Belarus has already implemented some of the recommendations that we shared with them in June, and the Government plans to implement all the remaining ones," IAEA Deputy Director General Alexander Bychkov said after delivering the document to Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly Tozik. "This shows that the country is taking the report seriously."
The main recommendations in the report include to revise Belarusian nuclear legislation to adequately address issues such as radioactive waste and spent fuel management, review the enforcement process, and norms relevant to civil liability for nuclear damage; to strengthen the regulatory body and the regulatory framework for licensing; and to develop comprehensive management systems for the nuclear project. Additionally, specific suggestions were made about its infrastructure development activities based on guidance contained in the publication Milestones in the Development of a National Infrastructure for Nuclear Power.
"The report acknowledges Belarus' strong expertise in radiation protection and environmental monitoring and recognizes that good coordination in the development of Belarus' nuclear power programme is beneficial," Bychkov said.
Belarus began considering nuclear power in the 1980s and recently renewed its efforts. The Concept of Energy Security of the Republic of Belarus, promulgated in September 2007, called for commissioning two nuclear power plant units by 2020. In July 2012, Belarus signed a construction contract with Atomstroyexport of the Russian Federation for two 1 170 megawatt-electric (MWe) units as well as fuel supply, take-back of spent fuel, training and other services.
Belarus has utilized two other IAEA services to help prepare its national nuclear program: an Energy Planning Analysis from 2007 to 2010, and a Nuclear Energy System Assessment from 2010 to 2011.
This year's INIR mission to Belarus was the seventh INIR mission conducted by the IAEA.
The INIR mission was conducted under an IAEA technical cooperation project.