Lithuania's State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate (VATESI) expects to submit its comments and questions regarding Belarus' stress tests report on the Astravyets Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) to an international group of experts by mid-January.

It was said earlier that Lithuania's working group had until Jan. 5 to submit its comments to the European Commission, but VATESI spokeswoman Birutė Kuklytė-Jonutienė told BNS that the deadline had been extended.

"The working group is still working. We expect to submit our comments on the stress test report in mid-January. (...) This is natural, because this has to be aligned with the common schedule of the international expert working group," she said.

Belarus last November submitted its national stress tests report on the plant to the European Commission for review. The report is currently being analysed by the international group of nuclear safety experts. The EU's executive body is expected to make its final assessment in June.

Sigitas Slepavičius, deputy head for nuclear safety at VATESI, told BNS in mid-December that Belarus' report failed to provide answers to Lithuania's key questions regarding site selection, environmental impact assessment and construction safety or quality.

The stress tests were performed by Atomproekt, a subsidiary of Russia's Rosatom, the Astravyets project's main contractor, in 2016.

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