European experts are beginning to check how the Belarusian nuclear power plant (BelNPP) in Ostrovets has implemented the EU recommendations on nuclear safety. Their mission will take place from 14 to 22 December, European Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said at a press conference following a virtual meeting of EU energy ministers on Monday 14 December.
вЂњMy appeal remains the same: the peer review of the NPP in Ostrovets should be completed as soon as possible. And in the process of commissioning a power plant, the highest safety standards must be ensured, вЂќ said Simson.
The mission will be held in a hybrid format: on December 14-15, experts from the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENREG) and the European Commission will hold negotiations with the Belarusian side via videoconference.
After that, they must visit BelNPP вЂњto verify the information provided to them by Belarus,вЂќ added Kadri Simson. Experts are ready to travel to the country, she said, despite travel restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.
вЂњI have said many times that measures must be taken (by the Belarusian side) before the commercial operation of the nuclear power plant in Ostrovets begins. All recommendations should be implemented without delay, вЂќadded the European Commissioner.
ENREG made its recommendations on ensuring nuclear safety at BelNPP based on the results of the stress test in 2018. On its basis, Belarus has prepared a National Action Plan.
Kadri Simson added that at the request of the EU summit, the European Commission will study how to prevent commercial imports of electricity from BelNPP to third countries that do not meet EU standards. According to her, this decision will be valid for other nuclear power plants that are or will build near the borders with the EU. Answer whether the European Commission will develop these measures if the mission shows that Belarus has complied with all the recommendations. At the same time, the European Commissioner refused, saying that she did not want to speculate on the outcome of the ENSREG mission.
вЂњIt all depends on the visit,вЂќ she added and clarified that the results of the experts' work will be made public in early 2021.