Reliable emergency response mechanisms created in Belarus - IAEA Deputy Director General

11:28 / 19.10.2018

Belarus has established reliable mechanisms for emergency preparedness and response. This opinion was expressed by the Deputy Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Juan Carlos Lentijo on the results of the work of the agency’s mission in Belarus, BelTA has learned.

Reliable emergency response mechanisms created in Belarus - IAEA Deputy Director General

Photo of the newspaper "Ostrovetskaya Pravda"

Today, the IAEA EPREV (Emergency Preparedness Review) mission to assess emergency preparedness and response to nuclear and radiation emergencies has completed its work. The audit was conducted at the request of the Government of Belarus. "Experts of the mission came to the conclusion that in Belarus, there are effective and reliable mechanisms in the area of emergency preparedness and response, identified good and applicable practices, identified strengths, as well as areas where further improvement can be carried out, Juan Carlos Lentijo said. – However, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the main outcomes of this mission are possible ways of improving and development of national emergency preparedness and response mechanisms. And those practices that have been highlighted by experts will allow other countries to improve their national systems and mechanisms".

Juan Carlos Lentijo also touched on the theme of the IAEA Response and Assistance Network (RANET). He stressed that this operational tool for providing assistance in the case of nuclear and radiation emergencies is an important mechanism for the exchange of experience in emergency preparedness and response. On the eve of the completion of the IAEA mission, Belarus registered on this network.

Minister of Emergency Situations Vladimir Vashchenko noted the importance of expert assessments. "Carrying out the instructions of the head of state that our station should be the safest, we are constantly improving our knowledge, inviting missions and specialists. We appreciate objective, independent view from aside. And today we saw that the work done, the preparedness and response system were highly appreciated. Recommendations and proposals that will be made, we will analyze and we will be guided by them, the minister said. - We do not intend to stop, we will continue to improve our activity".

Vladimir Vashchenko reminded that IAEA experts saw the practical work of Belarusian rescuers, where a large number of specialists were involved. They were pleased to see such a level of preparedness for response. Our proving ground allows any situation that may arise, to simulate and work out. Dozens of situations have been worked out and eliminated. And a high rating was received," he concluded.

The EPREV team identified several advantages of Belarus during the mission. For example, the Belarusian nuclear accident management system is integrated into the emergency management system, which provides for all hazards. There is also a comprehensive international cooperation program for emergency preparedness and response, including for nuclear and radiological events. There is an emergency response center at Ostrovets NPP that allows rescuers to better coordinate their activities.

Experts noted good opportunities for training in the field of response to nuclear and radiation emergencies, other emergencies. Appreciation was awarded to medications for the victims.

It was reported, the EPREV mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency on emergency preparedness and response has been working in Belarus since October 8. The delegation visited BelNPP, Gosatomnadzor of the Ministry of Emergencies, the State Industrial Inspection of the Ministry of Emergencies, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Health, offices of the Ministry of Emergencies (National Special Forces Department, State Aviation Rescue Institution “Aviation”, the Emergency Research Institute for Fire Safety and Emergency Situations, Ostrovets District Emergency Division) and other organizations.

The mission was requested taking into account the construction of Belarusian NPP. The IAEA provides emergency preparedness review services upon request to Member States to assess their level of preparedness for a nuclear or radiological emergency. The EPREV mission contributes to enhancing the national emergency response capacity in accordance with IAEA safety standards.

Belarusian NPP is being built under the Russian project with VVER-1200 reactors near Ostrovets (Grodno region). The first power unit is planned to be commissioned in 2019, the second - in 2020.

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