MINSK, 11 March (BelTA) - Public debates on the environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the future Belarusian nuclear power plant (NPP) will be held in Latvia in the near future, Deputy Energy Minister of Belarus Mikhail Mikhadyuk told a plenary session at a workshop conference, Prospects of Nuclear Energy Development in Belarus.
Mikhail Mikhadyuk noted that Belarus will take into consideration the remarks and suggestions by the Latvian side while fine-tuning the EIA. He also said that the public debates on the EIA of Belarus’ NPP have already been held in Lithuania. Taking part in them were Lithuanian MPs, scientists and representatives of non-governmental organizations. “We are still receiving remarks and suggestions from our Lithuanian colleagues. They will be taken into account together with the remarks of the countries that are set to hold the EIA debates in future,” said Mikhail Mikhadyuk.
After the debates and consultations are over, the EIA will be fine-tuned to tale into account the remarks and suggestions and forwarded for the state environmental expertise.
An EIA report contains the environmental, social and economic description of a nuclear power plant site, a report on its compliance with natural and ecological criteria, the characteristics of the nuclear power plant, preliminary analysis of its impact on the environment and other data. The assessment has been performed in accordance with the legislation of Belarus including with the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context and also in line with the IAEA recommendations.
The EIA report is based on the results of the research into the state of the environment conducted in 2009, design and survey works which were done as the site was selected. The assessment describes the aggregate impact of the NPP facilities on the environment, on the social and economic conditions and health of people.
Belarus has plans to construct a nuclear power plant of the 2,400MW capacity in the Grodno oblast (Ostrovetskaya site). The first power unit will be put into operation in 2016, the second one – in 2018. The plant will be built under the project of Saint Petersburg Atomenergoprojekt Institute. General contractor will be Atomstroyexport, a state-owned engineering company regulated by the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom). Atomstroyexport constructs about 20% of the world’s nuclear plants.