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.

The Commission reiterates that while the decision on commercial licensing of the Astravets plant is the responsibility of the national authorities, under the supervision of the national regulator, it is necessary to ensure maximum safety for the operation of the plant. This is even more imperative, given its proximity to the EU border and to Lithuania’s capital Vilnius.

The European Commission recalls the importance to address as soon as possible and fully all the recommendations from the peer review, including the remaining issues not addressed in the first phase. The European Commission insists that Belarus continue to engage on nuclear safety of Astravets in complete transparency, including through the completion of the ENSREG peer review of the Astravets plant.