Vilnius will send a note to Minsk in connection with the launch of the Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant (BelNPP), located near the Lithuanian border and 50 km from Vilnius. This was announced on Friday, August 7, by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Baltic Republic Linas Linkevičius.
According to a high-ranking diplomat, the country will react to a fact that did not come as a surprise, TASS reports. The physical start-up of the BelNPP will become an example of the fact that the facility is being commissioned “not according to safety standards, but according to some other calendar a few days before the presidential elections in Belarus.”
The Lithuanian Foreign Minister also criticized the fact that Minsk had previously changed the procedure for licensing the commissioning of nuclear power plants, separately issuing a license only for the physical launch. According to Linkevičius, this should be a single stage for a nuclear power plant and cannot be divided into stages.
Earlier on Friday, nuclear fuel loading began at the first power unit of the BelNPP. The physical start-up will be followed by the power start-up stage, at which the power unit will begin to generate electricity and supply it to the grid. The phase was planned for the fall.
In May, nuclear fuel for the first power unit of the Belarusian NPP was delivered to the plant construction site. Last autumn, Lithuania announced a tender for the purchase of 4 million doses of iodine preparations in case of an accident at the BelNPP.
The first nuclear power plant in Belarus is being built near the town of Ostrovets, Grodno Region, with the participation of Russian specialists. In July 2017, the head of Rosatom, Alexei Likhachev, confirmed that the facility would be commissioned on time – in 2020.