Belarus plans to build radioactive storage facility 'by 2030'

23 February 2023

Belarus is creating an organisation for radioactive waste management, the Ministry of Energy has said. The target is to put a facility into operation by 2030.

The minister was setting out tasks for the year ahead (Image:

Energy Minister Victor Karankevich said the organisation was needed to create a system of long-term storage and disposal of radioactive waste in the country.

The ministry said "this is radioactive waste generated not only at the Belarusian nuclear power plant, but also in medicine, industry, science, agriculture and other industries that use sources of ionising radiation".

The new organisation will oversee the pre-project, design and survey work as well as the construction of the facility.

The first stage will see specialists looking at experiences in other countries and the available technology for radioactive waste management before it works out "possible options for locating sites" followed by carrying out surveys and assessing the impact on the environment, and holding public hearings. The minister added: "The first stage of the radioactive waste storage facility is planned to be put into operation by 2030."

Last week Belarus and Russian nuclear fuel company TVEL agreed to expend their cooperation, including joint projects in the areas of radioactive waste management strategy.

Belarus's first nuclear power plant at Ostrovets is close to completion. The first power unit was connected to the grid in November 2020 and, the energy ministry says, the second unit's trial connection to the grid should happen in the next two months - at his energy briefing to reporters on 23 February he told journalists that the second unit was now 98% complete and should be put into commercial operation in the second half of the year.

Belarus says that once both units - Russian VVER-1200 reactors - are commissioned the plant will produce about 18.5 TWh of electricity per year, equivalent to 4.5 billion cubic metres of natural gas, with an annual effect on the country's economy of about USD550 million.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News