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Monday, 06 March 2023

Lukashenko stressed the priority of reliability and safety in the operation of the NPP

Written by BelTA

Radiation safety and operational integrity of the NPP  is a "priority of priorities". This was stated by President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko at a meeting on Belarusian nuclear power plant, BelTA has learned.

"The construction of the first NPP is one of the most large-scale and technological projects that we have carried out jointly with the Russians. A lot has been done to implement this project," the head of state said. In particular, the first power unit was put into operation and operates steadily, delivering electricity to the network. According to the President, the first unit has already generated more than 12.5 billion kWh since it was switched on, which has replaced over 3 billion cubic meters of gas and saved more than $400 million for the country. “The result is not bad for a start,” the Belarusian leader assessed.

As for the second power unit of the NPP, the physical start-up phase is underway; it is planned to be connected to the network in April this year, Alexander Lukashenko stated.

“I have repeatedly stressed that radiation safety and operational integrity of the nuclear power plant is a priority of priorities,” the head of state said. “We discussed these issues for a long time at the stage of making a very serious decision on the construction of the plant, we took into account all world experience. The highest technologies are used here. This is the heritage of our people. Therefore, all issues of the construction and operation of the nuclear power plant require special attention and a balanced approach."

Alexander Lukashenko recalled how certain destructive groups opposed the construction of the nuclear power plant, especially in 2020 during the election campaign. “You remember that all the alternatives, now runaways, promised to close the nuclear power plant if they came to power. Although billions have already been invested in its construction. Our competitors pushed them to this, first of all, unfortunately, our closest neighbors Poland and Lithuania, - said Belarusian leader. "So what today? Poland has planned the construction of two nuclear power plants, and maybe three. Lithuania also announces the construction of its own nuclear power plant. Now think about it: if we, having played political games, stopped construction or closed the nuclear plant? Or would they come to power and shut down this nuclear plant, where about $5 billion had already been invested? That's their face."

From an economic point of view, for energy security, the President demanded to ensure the efficient operation of the entire plant, its speedy reaching full capacity. However, this must be done in no way at the expense of the quality of construction, Alexander Lukashenko repeated his demand. “I know that Russians sometimes moan that we make excessive security demands on them. But they must understand: we are the Chernobyl republic, we suffered from the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant,” he explained. “Therefore, security is the number one issue, and we will demand the strictest security and compliance with construction standards."

In this regard, the head of state addressed a number of key questions to the participants of the meeting: how safety is ensured, whether all norms and regulations are observed during the construction and operation of the plant. The President also asked about the time prospects for putting the second power unit of  Belarusian NPP into operation, once again focusing on the quality of construction. “We did not hide anything and do not intend to hide that there were certain shortcomings in the construction of the nuclear power plant, which were very quickly eliminated by our and Russian builders. The delay is due to the fact that we really impose very high safety requirements. It is better to overdue half a year - a year rather than to leave something unfinished somewhere," Belarusian leader said.

“What measures are being taken to speed up the implementation of this project? After all, the foundation (reactor, skeleton) has already been created, brought to perfection. There are one and a half to two percent of some imperfections in the construction part. When will we finish completely and leave this site? - added the head of state. - I am absolutely open to all your proposals. If my help is required, I am ready to immediately make the necessary decisions."

Last modified on Monday, 06 March 2023
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