Comprehensive risk and safety assessments of the Belarus nuclear power plant completed
The Peer Review Report of the EU Stress Test in Belarus has been presented today. The review has been carried out by the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG). The Commission welcomes the completion of this work and looks forward to the next phase of the process and continue working on the proper implementation of the findings.
Nuclear safety is paramount in the European Union, and even more so when new facilities are being built and operating on the EU borders. The Commission and ENSREG have continually expressed their readiness to work with and support any non EU country to undertake a comprehensive peer review process and this support has been extended to Belarus.
The Peer Review Mission to Belarus took place from 12 to 16 March 2018 and was conducted in a constructive working atmosphere and in line with specifications for EU stress test. This peer review was conducted by a team of 17 experts from EU and non EU Member States including representatives from countries that use nuclear power as well as from those that do not. The team included also 2 representatives from the Commission and 3 observers. During the peer review, the Belarus nuclear regulatory authority provided detailed responses to a number of written questions from the experts.
In the spirit of good neighbourly relations all parties worked together constructively during this peer review with the commitment to increase transparency and improve nuclear safety. The information provided allowed to produce a comprehensive technical evaluation in line with the EU Stress Test scope and ensured an equal treatment for Belarus as regard to other non EU countries which participated to this peer review process in the past.
The Peer Review report, which was presented to the Belarussian authorities in June 2018, has now been endorsed by the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group. a comprehensive report and detailed recommendations for ensuring nuclear safety in Belarus be published on the ENSREG website together with an executive summary, further to the public event held today in Brussels.
The Commission considers that this outcome is proof of the pragmatic cooperation and problem-solving spirit of the EU with its neighbouring countries including on nuclear safety matters.
The report confirms the adequacy of nuclear safety features as established by the national safety regulator at the time of the license in 2014. It also identifies a number of safety features developed since then. In addition, it makes recommendations requiring thorough follow up and continued implementation measures.
The report makes, in particular, an in depth assessment of the plant in relation to:
- Earthquakes, flooding and other extreme weather events:
- Loss of electrical power and ultimate heat sink
- Severe accident management
The Commission calls on the Belarusian authorities to develop a National Action Plan, to ensure timely implementation of all safety improvement measures in accordance with their safety significance.
The Commission expresses its willingness to participate in the review of the implementation of the respective measures of the Action Plan.
The Action Plan should be subject to a future independent review. This was done by all EU and non EU countries which voluntarily participated to the stress test process since Fukushima.
The Commission considers nuclear safety cooperation a central topic in the EU's partnership with Belarus and will continue discussions on the follow-up to the recommendations.