The Ministry confirms that the incident took place, but claims that the supporting structure of formwork was only “partially damaged”.
The Belarusian Energy Ministry commented on the information published by Belsat about a defect that occurred during preparatory works at Astravets NPP construction site on April 8; however, it claims that its consequences have been eliminated.
According to the press service of the Belarusian Energy Ministry, the TV station might have referred to ‘the incident that took place at the construction site on April 8, 2016, when the supporting structure of formwork was partially damaged in the course of pouring concrete’.
“We have made the defect good, the block has been prepared for concreting and submitted to the commission in accordance with technical requirements. In this regard, we stress that there have never been any damage or destruction of structural elements accepted by the customer at the facilities of the Belarusian nuclear power plant for all the time of construction,” the Ministry’s official statement reads.
It is to be recalled that Eduard Sviryd, the spokesman for the Astravets NPP, denied our report saying that there had not been any incidents at the construction site.
“As soon as we got the information from informal sources, we immediately started to take action, and today the Ministry has summoned the ambassador of Belarus whom a note demanding explanation of the incident or accident has been handed to,” Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius told reporters.
According to the Lithuanian side, Belarus must ensure that the safety of the nuclear power plant, which is being built just 50 kilometers from Vilnius, will be provided under strict compliance with all international requirements.
The NPP first power-generating unit is scheduled for commissioning in 2018, the second one – in 2020. The construction of two nuclear reactors is provided in the agreement reached by Belarus and Russia, the reactors being supplied by Atomstroyexport, Russia. The project faced opposition at home and abroad on both safety and political grounds.
Let us recall that at the end of 2015, Lithuania’s Energy Minister Rokas Masiulis tried to talk neighboring countries out of purchasing energy from nuclear power stations that are being constructed in the Belarusian town of Astravets and Russia’s Kaliningrad region. “The energy being produced in violation of international regulation of nuclear safety, security and inter-state environmental impact assessment should not be accepted in the European Union”, he said.