UN watchdog to oversee Belarus nuclear project

May 6th, 2008 - 5:43 pm ICT by admin  

RIA Novosti
Minsk, (Belarus) May 6 (RIA Novosti) Inspectors from UN nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) arrive in Belarus Tuesday for a three-day visit to oversee a project for the country’s first nuclear power plant, the general designer said. The proposed power plant, with a capacity of 2,000 MW, is expected to provide electricity equal to that generated from five billion cubic metres of natural gas, at half the cost.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said the location for the plant should be chosen this spring in line with IAEA’s safeguards.

A tender for the reactor is due to be announced in 2009, and the first unit is supposed to be launched in 2016.

The IAEA specialists from Pakistan, Germany and Italy “have experience in choosing locations for construction of nuclear power plants in their countries and will provide methodical aid to Belarusian specialists,” a government spokesman said.

Environmental and opposition groups have opposed the country’s nuclear project saying that the government has provided little information regarding the construction.

A former Soviet republic, Belarus was one of the victim of 1986 infamous Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster.

The radiation drifted over the erstwhile western Soviet Union, Europe, North America. Large areas in Ukraine and Belarus were badly contaminated, resulting the evacuation and resettlement of over 336,000 people.
RIA Novosti

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