21 October 2018, Sunday, 18:27
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Lithuanian Experts: We Have 100 Punch Items Regarding Belarusian NPP

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PHOTO: DPA

The Astravets NPP does not meet the modern safety standards.

The Astravets nuclear power plant (BelNPP), which is now under construction near the border with Lithuania does not meet modern safety standards, the Lithuanian experts stated, having studied the report of the stress tests of the nuclear power plant. The experts submitted comments to the international group, Delfi reports.

The Lithuanian State Inspectorate for Atomic Energy (VATESI) reported that Lithuania formulated more than 100 punch items and the issue of sustainability of the NPP against the impact of extreme situations. Lithuania's most important question about choosing a site for the construction of the station was not considered in the report, and therefore it and a number of other issues remain unanswered, the message says.

“In addition to the issues previously set by Lithuania and still unanswered by Belarus, studying of the stress tests report revealed that the project of the Belarusian NPP has certain flaws in this sphere also, which must be eliminated before the launch of the first reactor,” – head of the working group, deputy head on nuclear safety at VATESI Sigitas Šliapavičius noted in the message.

The working group asserts that it lacks the rationale for the stability of the nuclear power plant in case of a heavy commercial aircraft falling, and the independence of the control system in the event of major accidents. In addition, Lithuania has doubts about the sustainability of the project in the event of an extreme earthquake, because it is based on the 1997 studies. It is alleged that the Astravets NPP's stress tests do not take into account the possible consequences of forest fires in nearby forests and other hazards, including a possible flood after an earthquake that can occur if three artificial reservoirs on the river Viliya break through.

The comments and questions formulated by the Lithuanian institutions will be transferred to the European Commission and the international working group established by the European Group of Nuclear Safety Regulatory Organizations (ENSREG) by January 25. VATESI, the Energy Institute, VAE SPB, the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plan (INPP), the Lithuanian Geological Survey, the State Hydrometeorological Service, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Energy, as well as the Nuclear Waste Disposal Agency, are participating in the review of the BelNPP stress test report in Lithuania. Stress tests of the NPP in 2016 were carried out by the subsidiary company of the general contractor ROSATOM - Atomprojekt.

Representatives of the Lithuanian government have already stated that the tests do not answer all questions and require testing in accordance with the methodology of the nuclear power plant. The nuclear power plant is being built not far from the border with Lithuania, only 50 km from Vilnius. Lithuania is blocking the import of electricity generated at BelNPP and thus intends to complicate the implementation of the project.