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2020.01.16 09:38

International atomic agency IAEA to send mission to Belarus

RFE/RL2020.01.16 09:38

A mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will head to Belarus in February, the Belarusian Energy Ministry said on Wednesday.

The mission will start work on February 24 to evaluate the preparedness of the country’s national infrastructure for a nuclear power station under construction in the town of Astravets near the Lithuanian border.

Lithuania has repeatedly called for international involvement and attention to the power plant it deems unsafe. Minsk denies all allegations.

Read more: Public figures call for national movement in Lithuania against Astravyets NPP

The planned site of the Astravets plant has been a concern for Lithuania ever since the project was announced in 2008. The Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, is less than 50 kilometers away, meaning that Minsk is at odds with IAEA recommendations made after the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan that plants should not be built within 100 kilometers of major population centers.

Read more: Lithuania might need ‘around €1bn’ to prepare for Astravyets accidents