The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe calls on Minsk not to issue a license to the Astravets NPP.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution on “Nuclear Protection and Safety in Europe” in Strasbourg on Thursday, it urges the atomic energy regulator of Belarus not to issue a license to the Belarusian nuclear power plant under construction until the international requirements for nuclear safety are implemented, Chairman of the Energy Commission of the Parliament of Lithuania Virgilijus Poderys reports.
On Thursday, the PACE voted in favor of such a resolution at a meeting in Strasbourg, Delfi.lt reports.
“The resolution was adopted with our proposals in the original text, with a strong statement that until the international requirements are fulfilled, the license must not be issued. This is the most important thing for us,” – Virgilijus Poderys, Chairman of the Commission on Energy Issues of the Seimas of Lithuania, who had participated in the PACE meeting, told BNS.
According to him, during the voting, 99 delegates were “for”, 18 – “against”, and 8 abstained.
The document also calls to provide protection from a crash of a heavy transport plane, to improve the ways of informing the public in neighboring countries about incidents, to sign agreements on emergency situations with Lithuania and other neighboring countries.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius welcomed on his Twitter the adoption of the PACE resolution, stressing that the Astravets NPP threatens the entire region and called for joint efforts to stop this dangerous project.
Strongly welcome @coe @PACE_News unambiguous resolution deploring #Belarus for not following international nuclear safety standards in the development of #Ostrovets nuclear power plant. A serious threat for the whole region, joint efforts in stopping this unsafe project – key. pic.twitter.com/BPNUOivBMU— Linas Linkevicius (@LinkeviciusL) 11 октября 2018 г.
Earlier, Poderys stated to BNS that the resolution, although it doesn’t lay Belarus under an obligation, is nevertheless an important instrument of pressure on Minsk.
Lithuania accuses Belarus that the future nuclear power plant is being built without complying with all safety requirements and international rules 50 kilometers from Vilnius and 30 kilometers from the Lithuanian border. In an effort to complicate the implementation of the project, Lithuania promises to block the import of electricity from Belarus.
Official Minsk dismisses these allegations.
Two VVER-type reactors (a water-water power reactor) are installed at the NPP in Astravets, each with a capacity of 1200 megawatts. Belarus hopes that the first reactor will be ready for electricity production no later than the end of 2019, and the second – in mid-2020. The project is funded by the Russian government, it is implemented by the Russian state corporation Rosatom.