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Over 70 Russian soldiers suffering from radiation exposure at Chernobyl nucler site

Over 70 Russian soldiers exposed to radiation at Chernobyl: Ukraine,  KYODO NEWS  6 Apr 22, – About 75 Russian soldiers are receiving medical treatment in Belarus after being exposed to radiation during their temporary control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, according to Ukraine’s Energy Minister German Galushchenko.

Galushchenko said in an online interview Tuesday that the troops apparently suffered from radiation after digging around the grounds of the plant, the site of a 1986 disaster, to defend themselves from the Ukrainian military.The troops were affected “very heavily and are in a very difficult situation and now (being treated) in clinics” in Belarus, Galushchenko said, citing information made available.

“I can’t imagine you could order someone to dig into” areas contaminated with “the high level of radiation with signs saying ‘Don’t come in. Don’t stay near,'” he said, speaking in English.”They’re soldiers, and they just follow the orders.”Galushchenko said Ukraine has regained complete control of the nuclear power plant……………..  https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2022/04/33e77e951e22-over-70-russian-soldiers-exposed-to-radiation-at-chernobyl-ukraine.htm

April 7, 2022 Posted by | Belarus, health | Leave a comment

Belarus to end its non-nuclear-weapon status


Belarus holds referendum to renounce non-nuclear status

The referendum shedding Belarus’ neutral status comes as Russia put nuclear deterrent forces on high alert.  Aljazeera,  27 Feb 2022

Belarus is holding a referendum to adopt a new constitution that would ditch its non-nuclear status, at a time when the country has become a launchpad for Russian troops invading Ukraine.

The vote on Sunday is almost certain to pass under the tightly controlled rule of President Alexander Lukashenko, bringing nuclear weapons back on Belarusian soil for the first time since the country gave them up after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Lukashenko has fallen behind Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military assault on Ukraine after earlier playing an intermediary role between the two neighbours.

Putin on Sunday ordered Russian nuclear deterrent forces put on high alert, in a dramatic escalation of tensions with the West.

Speaking at a polling station, Lukashenko said that he could ask Russia to return nuclear weapons to Belarus.

“If you (the West) transfer nuclear weapons to Poland or Lithuania, to our borders, then I will turn to Putin to return the nuclear weapons that I gave away without any conditions,” Lukashenko said.

The constitutional referendum shedding Belarus’ neutral status opens the way for stronger military cooperation with Russia, which deployed forces to Belarusian territory under the pretext of military drills and then sent them rolling into Ukraine as part of the invasion that began on Thursday.

The amendments will also cement Lukashenko’s 27-year-old grip on power, allowing the president to stay in power until 2035 and giving him lifetime immunity from prosecution once he leaves office………………………….. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/2/27/belarus-holds-referendum-to-renounce-non-nuclear-status

February 28, 2022 Posted by | Belarus, weapons and war | Leave a comment

NATO practices nuclear missile sorties near borders of the Russia-Belarus Union

NATO practices nuclear missile sorties near Union State borders — Belarus’ security chief

A breach of international norms and elementary rules of good neighborly relations by neighboring countries is already turning into an alarming trend, Alexander Volfovich stated

MINSK, January 28. /TASS/. The NATO Air Force is practicing sorties with cruise missiles, including with nuclear warheads, near the borders of the Russia-Belarus Union State, State Secretary of the Belarusian Security Council Alexander Volfovich said on Friday.

“The head of state drew attention to intensified flights by US strategic bombers near the borders of the Union State,” the BelTA news agency quoted Volfovich as saying.

“In our assessments, this means that the NATO Air Force is practicing employing cruise missiles, including those with nuclear warheads,” he said……………..  https://tass.com/defense/1394647

January 29, 2022 Posted by | Belarus, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Austria ready to take legal action against inclusion of nuclear power in Europe’s ”green taxonomy”

 Austria is ready to contest if Europe grants the green label to nuclear and gas. Under pressure from certain European states, the latest version of its “green” label to attract private capital includes gas and nuclear.
Austria, which has banned the atom in its constitution, is negotiating to remove it from this classification and reserves the right “to take legal action” if it does not, confirms diplomat Wolfgang Wagner.

 Ouest France 7th Jan 2022

https://www.ouest-france.fr/europe/ue/entretien-l-autriche-prete-a-contester-si-l-europe-accorde-le-label-vert-au-nucleaire-et-au-gaz-189640b2-6e4d-11ec-8165-e952f387eb50

January 10, 2022 Posted by | Belarus, climate change, politics international | Leave a comment

Belarus’ new nuclear power station has further problems, shut down at present .

 Shut down reactor in nuclear power plant in Belarus. The Ministry of
Energy in Minsk emphasizes that there is no increased radiation to be
measured in the vicinity of the country’s only Akw in Ostrowez.

The only nuclear power plant in Belarus that went into operation a year ago appears
to have new problems. A reactor block had been taken off the grid and the
reason for the automatic step was unclear, the Ministry of Energy announced
in Minsk on Wednesday. Specialists are in the process of finding out the
cause. No increased radiation was found. The nuclear power plant in
Ostrovets on the border with Lithuania was commissioned more than a year
ago and was already struggling with technical problems.

 Die Presse 17th Nov 2021

November 20, 2021 Posted by | Belarus, safety | Leave a comment

Russia sends nuclear-capable bombers on patrol over Belarus for second day amid migration crisis’


Russia sends nuclear-capable bombers on patrol over Belarus for second day amid migration crisis, ABC12 Nov 21,  
Russia sent two nuclear-capable strategic bombers on a training mission over Belarus for the second day in a row, in support for its ally amid a dispute over migration at EU borders with Poland and Lithuania .

Key points:Russia backed Belarus as thousands of migrants try to enter the EU at its border
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said the patrols were a necessary response to the migration crisis at the border 

Thousands of migrants are currently stranded at the Belarus/Poland border as they try to enter the EUTwo Russian Tu-160 strategic bombers practised bombing runs at the Ruzany firing range, about 60 kilometres east of Belarus’ border with Poland on Wednesday and Thursday. The Belarusian Defence Ministry said such Russian flights will now be conducted on a regular basis as part of joint training missions and that Belarusian fighter jets simulated an intercept. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said he needed the bombers to help him navigate what has become a tense border stand-off, as thousands of migrants and refugees gather on the Belarusian side of the Poland border in the hope of crossing into Western Europe. …………….. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-11-12/russia-sends-nuclear-capable-bombers-on-patrol-over-belarus/100614600

November 13, 2021 Posted by | Belarus, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Investor backlash predicted, if European Union were to include Nuclear and Gas as ”Green” in its EU Taxonomy


Net-Zero Alliance Plans to Reject Gas, Nuclear as Green Assets,  
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-11-08/net-zero-alliance-plans-to-reject-gas-nuclear-as-green-assetsBy John Ainger and Alastair Marsh9 November 2021

  • UN-convened asset owners weigh in on taxonomy debate
  •  The group favors separate legislation for energy transition

The European Union will likely face investor backlash if it includes natural gas and nuclear energy in its green rulebook, known as the EU taxonomy.

The United Nations-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, which is part of the wider finance industry’s $130 trillion climate agreement announced last week, wrote in a document that hasn’t been finalized that it would oppose such a decision. Instead, fossil fuels should go into an extension or separate piece of legislation for transition technologies, the group said.

“The Alliance supports a taxonomy that is credible, usable, as well as science- and evidence-based,” according to the document seen by Bloomberg News. The inclusion of gas “would be inconsistent with the high ambition level of the EU taxonomy framework overall.” For nuclear, “it will be of utmost importance to apply strict criteria when assessing” the principle of do-no-significant-harm, “with respect to the other environmental objectives to identify a potential taxonomy alignment,” it said.

The development marks a blow to those EU members who’d hoped the bloc would take a softer stance on gas and nuclear. It also sets the tone for other investors keen to put their net-zero pledges to work, less than a week after international financial institutions representing 40% of total global assets pledged to work toward carbon neutrality by the middle of the century. 

The European Commission is under pressure from member states such as France, which want to include nuclear and gas as key planks of their green transition strategies. The debate has intensified in recent months as energy prices soar amid a lack of supply. A decision on the so-called complementary delegated act is expected in the coming weeks.

Environmental groups have criticized the potential inclusion of gas, arguing it would undermine the EU’s ambition of setting the “gold standard” for green investing. It also would result in the bloc failing to meet its goal of cutting emissions by 55% by 2030 from 1990 levels and becoming carbon neutral by mid-century, they said. For nuclear, meanwhile, there are concerns over the environmental impacts of radioactive waste.

The Net-Zero alliance, whose members include Allianz SE and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, urged the EU Commission, member states and their expert bodies to make sure any decision arrived at is “science and evidence-based,” according to the document.

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November 9, 2021 Posted by | Belarus, business and costs, climate change | 1 Comment

European Commission worried that Belarus will start the Astravets nuclear power plant without the recommended EU safety guidelines

 The safety of nuclear power plants is a topic very closely followed by the
Commission, Member States and the EU public. The situation in Astravets has
been a source of heightened concern in the EU.

It is regrettable that Belarus has decided to start the commercial operation of the Astravets
nuclear power plant, without addressing all the safety recommendations
contained in the 2018 EU stress test report. As the Commission has
repeatedly stated, all peer review recommendations should be implemented by
Belarus without delay.

 European Commission 2nd June 2021

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/commissioners/2019-2024/simson/announcements/statement-commissioner-simson-astravets-nuclear-power-plant-belarus_en

June 7, 2021 Posted by | Belarus, safety | Leave a comment

Belarus Nuclear Plant Taken Offline After ‘Protection System Activated’

January 18, 2021 Posted by | Belarus, safety | Leave a comment

EU visit to Belarus nuclear plant called off, deepening safety concerns

EU visit to Belarus nuclear plant called off, deepening safety concerns

A visit by European experts to the controversial and newly-operational Belarusian nuclear plant was cancelled after local officials failed to participate in an organizational meeting, Bloomberg reported, citing the European Union energy commissioner. Bellona, December 23, 2020 by Charles Digges

The Belarusian nuclear power plant.Credit: Rosatom

A visit by European experts to the controversial and newly-operational Belarusian nuclear plant was cancelled after local officials failed to participate in an organizational meeting, Bloomberg reported, citing the European Union energy commissioner.

Belarus’s nuclear energy regulator responded by saying it was willing to hold the meeting at a later date, the agency said.

The plant, located in Ostrovets, was expected to be visited by the European delegates after neighboring Lithuania alleged safety issues while the first reactor was coming into  service in November. During a summit earlier this month, EU leaders emphasized the importance of ensuring safety at the site, Bloomberg said.

Among the alleged safety violations at the plant, Lithuania said in a memo circulated ahead of the summit, was cooling system malfunction that occurred on November 30. That was preceded on November 8 by a breakdown of four voltage transformers, which forced the plant to go offline shortly after it was started.

Lithuania also complained that the plant had come online without implementing the vast majority of EU or International Atomic Energy Agency recommendations, the EU Observer reported, citing the memo.

Warning that the plant could pose “significant risks” to the EU, the Lithuanian memo said that the nuclear plant’s “hasty commissioning and growing incidents indicate a real risk, which is amplified by limited management and competence abilities.” The memo went on to urge EU nations to boycott electricity produced by the Belarusian plant………….

In comments reported by Bloomberg last week, EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson called the delay “very regrettable.”

Commenting at a European Parliament committee meeting last Wednesday, she said, “The Belarusian regulator didn’t participate in the necessary preparatory technical meeting” to prepare the visit and “in these circumstances the physical visit to the Ostravets site would have no value.” As a result, the team called off the visit.

“The mission continues to call on Belarus to act responsibly and cooperate so that the peer-review exercise can be completed safely and in full transparency,” she said. The EU Commission aims to reschedule the visit as soon as possible and complete the review before the station begins commercial operations, she said…….https://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/2020-12-eu-visit-to-belarus-nuclear-plant-called-off-deepening-safety-concerns

December 24, 2020 Posted by | Belarus, safety | Leave a comment

Nuclear incident in Belarus: Lithuanian authorities alert citizens

December 4, 2020 Posted by | Belarus, incidents | Leave a comment

Incidents at Belarus nuclear station have alarmed neighbouring Lithuania

Lithuania wary of incident at Belarus nuclear plant  https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/short_news/lithuania-weary-of-incident-at-belarus-nuclear-plant/   Benas Gerdžiūnas |   1 Dec 20LRT.lt/en  Lithuania has asked Belarus for clarification after its new nuclear plant located some 50 kilometres from the country’s capital suffered an incident just five days after launch.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko took part in the opening of the plant on 6 November, where he said the launch of the Astravyets NPP was as “ordinary” as building a metro.

“Belarus is becoming a nuclear power,” he declared.

Several voltage-measuring transformers outside of the nuclear reactor exploded during an incident on 7 November, according to sources at TUT.by, an independent media outlet in Belarus.

On Monday, the Belarusian Energy Ministry said that “a need to replace the measuring equipment arose” during testing, without providing further details.

Lithuania’s State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate (VATESI) said the plant is still undergoing testing. However, “we have also received no information about the [planned] next steps to launch the plant”, VATESI told BNS in a written comment.

Lithuania has been one of the most ardent critics of the nuclear plant built by the Russian state atomic corporation Rosatom and funded by a loan from the Kremlin.

Vilnius says the plant is unsafe and was built in breach of international safety standards. Minsk denies all allegations.

In September, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland had sent a joint statement to the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and contracting parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS), calling on Belarus to start addressing nuclear safety issues without delay.

At the same time, the Russian company Rosatom is in talks with Belarus about the construction of a second nuclear power plant and a research reactor in the country, Rosatom chief Alexander Likhachev announced on Tuesday in a video statement.

In August, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania agreed not to purchase electricity from the plant.

The Baltic states are gearing up to switch from the Russian-controlled BRELL electricity grid that also includes Belarus, and synchronise with the continental European system by 2025.

(Benas Gerdžiūnas, LRT.lt/en | Alexandra Brzozowski, EURACTIV.com)

December 3, 2020 Posted by | Belarus, safety | Leave a comment

Belarus shuts down its newly inaugurated nuclear power plant to replace equipment

November 10, 2020 Posted by | Belarus, politics, safety | Leave a comment

Belarus opens nuclear plant opposed by neighboring Lithuania

Belarus opens nuclear plant opposed by neighboring Lithuania
The president of Belarus has formally opened the country’s first nuclear power plant over the objections of neighboring Lithuania,
abc News ByThe Associated Press, 8 November 2020, KYIV, Ukraine — Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Saturday formally opened the country’s first nuclear power plant, a project sharply criticized by neighboring Lithuania……

Lithuania has long opposed the plant, located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) southeast of its capital, Vilnius. Lithuanian authorities say the project has been plagued by accidents, stolen materials and the mistreatment of workers.

In line with a law banning electricity imports from Belarus once the nuclear plant started up, Lithuania’s Litgrid power operator cut the inflow of electricity from Belarus when the plant began producing electricity on Tuesday…….

Belarus suffered severe damage from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, which spewed radioactive fallout from a plant in then-Soviet Ukraine across large areas of Europe. That painful legacy has fueled opposition to the nuclear plant project in Belarus.

Lithuania closed its sole Soviet-built nuclear power plant in 2009. In recent weeks, Lithuanian authorities have handed out free iodine pills to residents living near the Belarus border. Iodine can help reduce radiation buildup in the thyroid in case of a leak at the nuclear plant. https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/belarus-opens-nuclear-plant-opposed-neighboring-lithuania-74073929

November 9, 2020 Posted by | Belarus, politics international | Leave a comment

Europe still without a final disposal solution for its most dangerous nuclear waste

Le Monde 4th Nov 2020, Europe still without a final disposal solution for its most dangerous
nuclear waste. The first edition of the World Report on Nuclear Waste,
published Wednesday in its French version, provides elements of comparison
of management methods in different countries.

https://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2020/11/04/l-europe-toujours-sans-solution-de-stockage-definitif-de-ses-dechets-nucleaires-les-plus-dangereux_6058412_3244.html

November 5, 2020 Posted by | Belarus, wastes | Leave a comment