Saturday 11/28/20
ENERGY

Belarus' controversial nuclear plant beset with technical problems

Lithuania has objected to the facility as a potential environmental and security threat.

Russian state nuclear company Rosatom is in talks with Belarusian authorities to possibly build another plant.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. Photo: Kremlin/file photo.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. Photo: Kremlin/file photo.

Belarus' first nuclear power plant, whose commissioning last week evoked adamant objections by neighbouring EU state Lithuania, has been beset with technical problems.

"On November 8 [Sunday] a transformer went out of order, due to which the power generation at the nuclear plant was halted," Russian state news outlet Sputnik said in a report on Tuesday, citing Belarusian state sources.

Belarusian state news agency BelTA reported on Monday that tests "revealed the need to replace individual electrotechnical measuring equipment."

The plant, constructed in collaboration with Russian state nuclear company Rosatom, is located about 50 kilometres from Lithuania's capital, Vilnius.

Lithuania has objected to the facility as a potential environmental and security threat.

IAEA safety standards

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said as the plant was connected to Belarus' national electrical grid last week that the facility had "unresolved safety issues."

Rosatom has attested that the nuclear plant, located near the town of Astravets in Belarus' western Grodno region, complies with all safety standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Rosatom announced on Tuesday that it was in talks with Belarusian authorities to possibly build another nuclear plant in that country, state media reported.

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