17 October 2018, Wednesday, 13:25
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Emanuelis Zingeris: Belarusian NPP Threatens Very Existence Of Vilnius

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EMANUELIS ZINGERIS

The Astravets NPP is used for geopolitical purposes.

The proximity of the Belarusian NPP to the Lithuanian capital threatens the existence of Vilnius if a disaster occurs at the station, so Lithuania will not stop reminding the world of the danger posed by the NPP under construction in Astravets. This was stated during the PACE meeting on nuclear safety in Europe by head of the Parliamentary Committee of the Lithuanian Seimas for Foreign Affairs Emanuelis Zingeris, writes tut.by.

- A nuclear power plant, located at the same distance from Vilnius as Heathrow from London, threatens the very existence of our capital. Bearing in mind that the construction of the Belarusian NPP was halted due to the lack of technology and project flaws, remembering the track record of these terrible nuclear power plants in the USSR, I would like you to take this issue very seriously. The nuclear power plant is being built by Russia, and I ask you not to allow the use of the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant for geopolitical purposes, - Zingeris said.

The participants of the PACE meeting also discussed the resolution on nuclear safety in Europe. The MPs reminded that today nuclear power plants are operating in 17 countries of the Council of Europe, therefore the issue of safety remains a priority. However, in the resolution presented at the PACE meeting, the Belarusian NPP is mentioned more often than others.

“In the light of past nuclear accidents and modern safety requirements, special attention should be paid to the issue of international cooperation and good neighborliness in the process of choosing the location for the new nuclear power plants. The most recent conflict regarding the location occurred between Belarus and Lithuania regarding the construction of the Astravets power plant in Belarus, 20 km away from the border with Lithuania and 45 km away from Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.

The main problems raised by Lithuania are related to the justification of the choice of a construction site, in particular, in the light of possible seismic activity in the region. Therefore, the Assembly last year regretted the lack of respect for international standards of nuclear safety and serious violations of safety and major incidents during the construction of the nuclear power plant in Astravets,” the resolution says.

The PACE also reminded that the Belarusian NPP was designed by the Russian state corporation Rosatom, it will contain two reactors with a working life of up to 60 years.

“A nuclear power plant should be put into operation only after the main problems of its safety are completely resolved,” the resolution says.

The authors of the report also made several recommendations regarding the nuclear and environmental safety of the Belarusian NPP. The PACE believes that although decisions on nuclear safety lie in the national sphere of interest, the role of specialized international organizations and supranational institutions should also be taken into account.

“In all territories with nuclear installations, local authorities should be involved in emergency management planning. Finally, in response to people's expectations and new dangers, we have reasonable grounds to ask relevant international organizations to provide more adequate recommendations for locating new nuclear facilities at the appropriate distance from densely populated areas, ” the resolution says.