News2020.05.25 12:12

Lithuania, Belarus sign nuclear incident notification agreement

BNS 2020.05.25 12:12

Lithuania and Belarus have on Monday signed an agreement on early notification of a nuclear accident and exchange of information on nuclear facilities and activities.

Lithuania's State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate (VATESI) said it had signed the agreement with the Belarusian Ministry of Emergency Situations.

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"Despite this agreement, all environmental and nuclear safety issues being raised by Lithuanian remain. Lithuanian wants the Belarusian nuclear power plant not to be launched until it meets all international environmental and nuclear safety requirements," VATESI said.

Vilnius officials say the Astravyets NPP is being built in breach of international safety standarts, an allegation Minsk denies. Lithuanian authorities also say that in the worst-case scenario, Vilnius would have to be evacuated if a major accident happens at the nuclear facility, some 50 kilometres from the Lithuanian capital.

VATESI underlined that since nuclear fuel has already been delivered to the Astravyets NPP and preparations are underway to launch the first reactor, the risk of a potential nuclear or radiological accident has already emerged.

Under the agreement, the institutions agreed to exchange key information immediately after a nuclear accident or after a dangerous level of radiation is recorded.

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