Today (11 February), the European Parliament will debate and vote on the "Safety of the nuclear power plant in Ostrovets, Belarus," which borders Lithuania. EU experts are visiting the power plant project in Belarus this week. The European Commission's final assessment of the situation is planned to be concluded in spring to summer 2021, which makes it likely that the commercial launch of the first nuclear reactor will take place before the EU experts’ work has been finalised and all recommendations implemented by Belarus.
Bronis Ropė MEP, Greens/EFA Member of the Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee, comments:
"We cannot compromise on safety when it comes to nuclear power. Although Ostrovets is in Belarus, it borders Vilnius, an EU capital, and any accidents could endanger millions of people across multiple countries. Nuclear power is never 100% safe. It is essential that we avoid another Chernobyl. The European Commission must pressure the Belarusian authorities to suspend the commercial launch of the nuclear power plant in March.
"The Ostrovets project is not compliant with international conventions. The Belarusian authorities have been too sluggish and disingenuous in implementing EU 'stress test' recommendations, which is unacceptable given the potential risk to peoples' safety in both Belarus and the EU. The Commission has been too lenient towards Minsk for too long. It must step up and ensure, at the very least, that all nuclear safety experts' recommendations are taken on board by the Belarusian authorities before the launch of the power plant."
The debate can be followed live from 09:00 am here.