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Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Lithuania

09/21/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 09/21/2020 07:10

Minister of Energy at the IAEA General Conference: Transparency and accountability are paramount in nuclear energy

Today, Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas delivered a national statement at the 64th Annual Regular Session of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference. The minister noted that countries developing a nuclear energy programme must adhere to the principles of transparency and accountability.

'The IAEA has an important role in ensuring nuclear safety on an international scale, so the role of this institution needs to be strengthened. The application of IAEA standards should become mandatory, as this would ensure transparency and uniform standards of nuclear safety at facilities like the Astravets nuclear power plant. The IAEA has to play its decisive role in ensuring the implementation of nuclear safety standards and preventing Belarus from violating them,' said Minister Vaičiūnas.

The minister also noted that in order to achieve the highest standards of nuclear safety, the role of the IAEA should be extended to ensuring the proper implementation of nuclear safety standards, including recommendations of EU stress tests.

The minister raised nuclear safety issues regarding the nuclear power plant being built by Belarus in Astravets. Nuclear fuel was loaded into the first reactor of the Belarusian nuclear power plant without resolving key environmental, nuclear and radiation safety problems and without ensuring public participation in decision-making. The international community - and the IAEA in particular - must be more resolute in ensuring that international nuclear and radiation safety standards are implemented in such projects.