As Lithuanian and Belarusian nuclear safety bodies are holding talks on cooperation and exchange of information on nuclear accidents, Energy Minister Zygimantas Vaiciunas says Vilnius' position regarding the safety of the Astravyets nuclear power plant remains unchanged, but it is necessary to prepare for all scenarios.
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"The agreement that is being currently negotiated is an agreement on notification of potential nuclear accidents. Of course, we can do nothing and make no preparations for such a scenario, but this nuclear power plant can be launched eventually and operate without such an agreement in place. Then we'll have no procedure for notifying us," he said on Ziniu Radijas.

The minister said the planned agreement was an instrument to ensure prevention and security.

"We, Lithuania, will be at greater risk if we don't have such agreements," he said.

Vaiciunas noted that Latvia had already signed such an agreement.

Belarus' nuclear safety body has sent a draft agreement to the Lithuanian State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate (VATESI) for approval.

The head of VATESI has said Lithuania expects to sign the agreement before the first nuclear fuel delivery to the Astravyets nuclear power plant, which may happen next fall, around a month before the launch of the first reactor.

Russia's state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom is building Belarus' first nuclear power facility near Astravyets, a town just 23 kilometers from the Lithuanian border. The plant, which is being financed by the Russian government, will have two Russian-made VVER reactors with a capacity of 1,200 megawatts each.

BNS
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