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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Belarusian nuclear power plant - "ultimate political decision" by the Security Council

Security Council makes «ultimate political decision» regarding construction of nuclear power plant in Belarus

The presidential press office has announced that “an ultimate political decision regarding the construction of a nuclear power plant” in Belarus was made at a meeting of the Security Council in Minsk on January 15.

The Security Council’s directive giving the go-ahead for the construction of the country’s first-ever nuclear power plant is expected to land on Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s desk later this month.
“This energy enterprise has a big importance for us, all issues connected with it are important as they concern the safety of the population and not only of that of our country,” the press office quoted Mr. Lukashenka as saying at the meeting. “But there are several hundred such energy enterprises in the world, that’s why there is nothing extraordinary in the construction of Belarus’ nuclear power plant – they have the experience of building such facilities in the world.” The Belarusian leader called for speeding up preparations for the project. “The government needs to begin working on the matter very seriously. What matters most is that delaying the project means a higher cost. We need to switch from speculation to practical work and ensure that the construction of the plant begins this year,” he noted. Mr. Lukashenka claimed that the public was aware of the need for a nuclear power plant in the country. “The public understands that there is no alternative to the construction of an atomic power plant in Belarus today,” he stressed. Finance Minister Mikalay Korbut said at the meeting that the project would cost roughly $4 billion. The project will be financed with public funds and foreign loans, he said.
The plant is expected to start operation in 2018. It is projected to account for 30 percent of all electricity generated in Belarus by 2020.

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