In light of its history, Belarus being the unfortunate recipient of almost 70 per cent of the radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, the country’s decision to move forward with the construction of a nuclear power plant (NPP) at Astravets, in the north of country close to the border with Lithuania, would not have been taken lightly. Previous plans to build a nuclear reactor in the then Soviet republic were abandoned shortly after the Chernobyl disaster. Belarus, however, is no longer part of the Soviet Union, and Astravets is not Chernobyl. Nuclear reactor design has progressed enormously in recent decades, with safety and accident prevention now paramount. The VVER-1200 reactors which will be used in Belarus are also key to Finland’s nuclear strategy, with construction at Hanhikivi on the country’s sixth reactor expected to begin next year ahead of a commercial launch in 2028.
Emerging Europe 24th June 2020 read more »