23 March 2019, Saturday, 20:48
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Lithuania’s MFA Hands Protest Note To Belarus’ Ambassador Due To Belarusian NPP Incident

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According to the information of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, this incident has become the 6th at the Astravets NPP, which Lithuania knows about.

On Thursday, Belarusian Ambassador in Vilnius Aliaksandr Karol was handed a note with a request to urgently provide full information about another incident with the reactor vessel of the Astravets NPP, delfi.lt reports with a reference to Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania.

In the document, the MFA asks to thoroughly investigate this incident and to inform Lithuania, the neighboring countries and the International Agency for Atomic Energy (IAEA) about the results of the investigation. The note expressed a great concern about the repetition of incidents at the Astravets NPP, of which Lithuania found out not from the official sources in Belarus, but from the media. In particular, the website charter97.org was the first to inform what had happened.

According to the information of the Belarusian media, on Monday the new reactor vessel grazed against the catenary mast near the railway station Slaunaye in Belarus.

In the note, Lithuania’s MFA once again demanded that Belarus should urgently summon the full IAEA mission on assessment of the sites, which should assess the suitability of the site for the construction of the Astravets NPP and the criteria for its selection; on the basis of the agreement with the European Commission, signed in 2011, to carry out comprehensive tests on risk assessment and sustainability (stress-tests) under the EU methodology and with participation of foreign experts. It also demands to create an international commission of experts, as suggested by the Committee for the implementation of the UN Espoo Convention, to thoroughly study the compliance of the Astravets NPP project with the Convention’s regulations. According to the information of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, this incident has become the 6th at the Astravets NPP, which Lithuania knows about.

According to Lithuanian experts, the incident which happened on July 10, when a reactor vessel weighing 330 tons fell from the height of 10 meters, was especially dangerous and is likely to have irreversible negative consequences for the safety of the nuclear power plant, so Lithuania demanded to replace the damaged vessel. Despite the fact that Belarus tried to deny this fact, and to diminish the significance of its effects, due to the active efforts of the Lithuanian organizations, it was possible to ensure that Belarus admitted that the fallen structure should be replaced.