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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Belarus has stricter requirements for construction of nuclear power plant than in rest of world, international experts say

A delegation of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) experts said that Belarus had stricter requirements for a decision to build a nuclear power plant than in the rest of the world.

The three IAEA experts, who represented Pakistan, Germany and Italy, stayed in the country between May 6 and 8 to share their expertise with Belarusian colleagues and study the country’s regulations.

While talking to reporters in Minsk on Thursday, Uladzimir Babrow, deputy director of BelNDPIenerhapram, a state power generation research company, said that the delegation had informed Belarusian experts about an IAEA methodology for selecting a site for the construction of a nuclear power plant. “In general, the visit showed that we and the IAEA share approaches, but we have stricter requirements for the construction of a nuclear power plant,” he said.

The Belarusian government plans to provide the international organization with detailed information about four possible sites of a nuclear power plant currently under consideration.

While talking to reporters this past April, Vasil Losich of the environmental protection ministry said that the government considered building the country’s first-ever nuclear power plant in four areas, located close to the village of Chyrvonaya Palyana near Bykhaw, Mahilyow region; the village of Kukshynava between Horki and Shklow, Mahilyow region; in the Astravets district, Hrodna region, and in the Verkhnyadzvinsk district, Vitsyebsk region.

(Source: www.naviny.by)


Alexandra Prokopenko said...

A remark on this article: Belarus in general has much stricter requirements then the rest of the world when it comes to the things connected to security and national security in particular. While I am very skeptical towards the practical implementation of these requirements.

Anonymous said...

Imo one thing that is so powerful about this generation of reactors is they are building the same reactor all over the place.

I look at the AP1000 for example from Westinghouse. I think many dozens will be built, maybe even 100 over the next 30 years. There are already plans and proposals for about 12 AP1000's and 8 more penciled in in China.

So a smaller nation can just go with the review done by one of the big nations or the IAEA.


rsm said...

I think Alexandra is correct. In addition to the requirements on paper, one needs to review what activities actually take place (e.g., one can have a pile of rules but without additional budget for inspectors you cannot be sure if the rules are really being followed).

Joffan said...

I think there is a correct level of strictness for such processes - not too controversial, hey? Belarus should carfeully consider whether it is at that level, below that level or (as I suspect) beyond that level of strictness. So should a number of other countries. As you rightly point out, Alexandra, oversight and enforcement is another layer of effort without which paper regulations are definitely pointless.

At some point regulations do not add safety, or less obviously they do not add enough to be worth the effort, time or resources. Waste repositories are a classic case of over-regulation in my opinion; the attention devoted to them could have much more positve impact elsewhere, comfortably offsetting the marginal (probably undetectable) decrease in assurance at the repository.