IAEA mission to come to Belarus in February to check readiness for nuclear power plant launch

An Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will come to Belarus in February 2020 to evaluate the readiness of the country’s infrastructure for operating a nuclear power plant. Preparations for welcoming the mission are being discussed at a routine conference in Minsk on 14-15 January, the press service of the Belarusian Energy Ministry told BelTA.

Participants of the conference discussed the preliminary report on the development of all branches of the nuclear infrastructure Belarus had prepared ahead of the visit. Other organizational matters concerning the hosting of the IAEA mission were discussed as well. The mission will start working in Belarus on 24 February. All the organizations involved in implementing the nuclear energy project are taking part in the routine meeting.

Deputy Energy Minister Vadim Zakrevsky addressed participants of the conference with a word of welcome. He thanked IAEA experts for fruitful cooperation and for the great deal of work the sides had done together.

Earlier BelTA quoted Belarusian Deputy Energy Minister Mikhail Mikhadyuk as saying that the readiness of the entire nuclear infrastructure in Belarus for operating a nuclear power plant will be evaluated as part of the INIR mission’s visit. “It is our key exam over the years of working on implementing the nuclear energy program,” the official said.

The Belarusian nuclear power plant is being built near Ostrovets, Grodno Oblast using a Russian design featuring two VVER-1200 reactors with the total output capacity of 2,400MW. Rosatom’s engineering division – ASE Company – is the general contractor. The first unit is supposed to go online in 2020, with the second one scheduled for launch in 2021.