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Lithuania’s Foreign Minister discusses issues related to Astravets NPP with IAEA Director General

Created: 2017.04.04 / Updated: 2017.04.04 17:39
      Lithuania’s Foreign Minister discusses issues related to Astravets NPP with IAEA Director General
      Lithuania’s Foreign Minister discusses issues related to Astravets NPP with IAEA Director General

      On 4 April in Vienna,  the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius met with the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano and expressed his particular concerns over the serious violations of nuclear safety requirements that had occurred while the Astravets nuclear power plant (NPP) was being constructed.

      Linkevičius informed that during the Seventh Review Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety that was being held from 27 March to 7 April, Lithuania had raised the key nuclear safety issues related to the Astravets NPP. Taking into account the fact that Belarus failed to comply with the IAEA’s safety requirements and provisions of the Convention on Nuclear Safety, Lithuania called on the country to stop the construction of the Astravets NPP.

      “There were six incidents in 2016. In two incidents, the reactor vessel was damaged. This sends a very serious signal that Belarus has resorted to non-compliance with the rules and project documentation in the development of the Astravets NPP project,” Lithuania’s Foreign Minister told Amano.

      According to Linkevičius, Lithuania’s fundamental, but not the only issue concerns the construction site that was inappropriately selected, i.e. without assessing the risks of this nuclear facility in accordance with IAEA safety  requirements, without consulting with the nearest neighbouring country – Lithuania – and only 40 km away from Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania.

      “We demand that Belarus should carry out all the necessary seismic, geological, hydrological research of the construction site, as well as perform all the necessary procedures for selecting a construction site, adhering to the IAEA’s safety requirements and provisions of the Convention on Nuclear Safety. We also request Belarus to carry out a full-scale IAEA SEED mission and stress tests in accordance with EU methodology. Belarus must publicly and in a transparent manner present results of these missions to all interested parties and to the public, and implement all the recommendations that the country had received,” said Linkevičius.

      Lithuania’s Foreign Minister stressed that the IAEA, as a technical and neutral organization, which worked for the safe, secure and peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology, could not ignore such violations of nuclear safety and security, as an inappropriate selection of a construction site for a nuclear facility, violations of technology in the construction of an NPP and improper implementation of a nuclear project.

      During the meeting, Lithuania’s Foreign Minister noted that nuclear safety was our joint concern and responsibility, therefore, it was necessary to address the safety issues of the Astravets NPP at all levels and to ensure international oversight of this project.

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