Belarus, Russia to take cooperation in nuclear energy to new heights
14:47, 15 March
Belarus and Russia intend to reach an even higher level of cooperation in nuclear energy industry, BelTA learned from Belarusian Energy Minister Viktor Karankevich on 16 March.
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A delegation of the lower chamber of the Russian parliament has arrived in Minsk. There are plans to discuss matters of bilateral cooperation in energy industry, including construction and operation of the Belarusian nuclear power plant.
Viktor Karankevich said: “The construction of the nuclear power plant is in the final stage now. The second unit is supposed to begin commercial operation by the end of the year. But we intend to reach an even higher level of interaction with Russian colleagues.”
This cooperation may include not only the operation of the Belarusian nuclear power plant, technical support and scientific oversight of the project, the management of radioactive waste, but also new areas of work. Those are energy accumulation systems for power engineering industry and electric vehicles, digital technologies, nuclear medicine, additive technologies, research in the area of agriculture and radiobiology.
The Belarusian nuclear power plant project has become the most technologically sophisticated and largest project in the history of Belarusian-Russian relations. It brought together scientific and engineering schools, tens of enterprises and thousands of specialists of the two countries, contributed to enhancing the manufacturing and R&D potential of the Union State of Belarus and Russia. About 40 Belarusian and Russian organizations took part in the construction of the nuclear power plant. Over 9,000 construction workers were employed at the site at the peak of the nuclear power plant construction work.
Over the years of implementing the national nuclear energy program Belarus made serious steps on the way of forming the system of nuclear and radiation safety and its most important elements, including the creation of the corresponding legal base, the establishment and operation of a protection and response system. A lot of work was done in the sphere of personnel training. “We advance cooperation with our Russian colleagues along all these avenues, primarily cooperation with the state corporation Rosatom,” the energy minister added.
Belarusian Energy Minister Viktor Karankevich went on saying: “Nuclear energy industry opens up great opportunities not only for the fuel and energy complex but also for other branches of the economy. It is not an accident that the demand for peaceful uses of nuclear energy is on the rise. During the general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency in 2022 a record-high number of countries mentioned the need to develop nuclear energy industry. A total of 50 states did that, including 27 countries of the European Union.”
At present nuclear energy generates about 10% of the world's electricity. Taking into account the rising demand for peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the International Atomic Energy Agency expects this figure to continue growing.