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IAEA Hails Progress Achieved By Belarus In Developing Nuclear Infrastructure

A report released by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), UN's nuclear watchdog, on Friday praised the progress achieved by Belarus in developing its nuclear infrastructure, and noted that the country will soon be able to support the construction of a nuclear power plant .

In its report titled 'The Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR), the IAEA made 16 recommendations to the Government of Belarus, including revising its nuclear legislation to adequately address issues like radioactive waste, strengthening the regulatory body and framework for licensing, and developing comprehensive management systems for the nuclear project.

The report also made specific suggestions about Belarus' infrastructure development activities, based on guidance contained in the IAEA Milestones in the Development of a National Infrastructure for Nuclear Power publication.

"The report acknowledges Belarus' strong expertise in radiation protection and environmental monitoring and recognizes that good coordination in the development of Belarus' nuclear power program is beneficial," IAEA's Deputy Director General, Alexander Bychkov, said after delivering the report to the country's Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly Tozik.

"Belarus has already implemented some of the recommendations that we shared with them in June, and the Government plans to implement all the remaining ones. This shows that the country is taking the report seriously," he added.

Belarus, which has been considering nuclear power since the 1980s, recently renewed its efforts in this regard. Incidentally, the Concept of Energy Security of the Republic of Belarus, promulgated in September 2007, called for commissioning two nuclear power plant units by 2020.

This year's INIR mission to Belarus was the seventh of its kind conducted by the IAEA. Notably, Belarus has already utilized two other IAEA services -- an energy planning analysis from 2007 to 2010, and a nuclear energy system assessment from 2010 to 2011-- to help prepare its national nuclear program.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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