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Merkel: Germany Stands for High Safety Standards in Belarusian NPP Construction

© AP Photo / Markus SchreiberAngela Merkel
Angela Merkel - Sputnik International
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that NPPs safety is crucial commenting the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant (NPP) on border with Lithuania.

A welding operator at the assembling of a reactor in the 'clean area' - Sputnik International
New Reactor Pressure Vessel Delivered to NPP Construction Site in Belarus
BERLIN (Sputnik) — Berlin advocates the observance of high technical standards in the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant (NPP) on border with Lithuania, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday.

"Lithuania is a bit concerned with the construction of nuclear power plant in Belarus. We are in favor of compliance with high technical standards. Because it does not matter whether it comes to direct proximity or not, we know from the time of Chernobyl, that NPPs safety is crucial," Merkel said following the meeting with Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis.

Earlier in the day, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said that the Belarusian NPP, being built jointly with Russia, was Moscow's geopolitical project aimed against Vilnius.

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The Belarusian NPP, located on the border with Lithuania, is set to become the country's first nuclear plant. The first power unit was previously expected to go online in 2018 and the second in 2020. Lithuania, which, in turn, has plans to build the Visaginas NPP near the border with Belarus, has expressed doubt over the safety of the Belarusian NPP, voicing concerns it might not comply with the international standards. Minsk has issued assurances that the plant complies with the highest possible standards.

In December, Lithuanian Energy Minister Zygimantas Vaiciunas said the country would use international institutions such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the European Commission to ensure safety at the plant in case it proved impossible to halt construction.

The plant is a VVER-1200 (NPP-2006) project powered by Russian reactors. The improved VVER (Water-Water Energetic Reactor) complies with the latest safety norms developed following the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan.

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