Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Belarus Ready to Build 2nd Nuclear Power Plant, Says President Lukashenko

From RIA Novosti (4/3/2012; emphasis is mine):

Belarus may build a second nuclear plant in the country in addition to one already planned for the western Grodno Region, President Alexander Lukashenko said on Tuesday.

“If we have your cooperation, support and suitable conditions, we are ready to build a second nuclear power station in Belarus,” the president told International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) head Yukiya Amano who is on a visit to Minsk.

Construction of Belarus’ first nuclear plant in the Grodno Region, close to the Lithuanian border, was expected to begin in April. Lukashenko said on Tuesday its construction has “already begun.”

The $9-billion plant will be built by Russia’s Atomstroyexport company, a subsidiary of state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom. The plant will consist of two reactors with a capacity of 1,200 MW each and will boost the entire Belarusian energy system's capacity to 8,000 MW. The power station’s first unit is due to be ready in 2017 and the second in 2018.

Belarus began preparing to build a nuclear plant back in the 1980s, but the project was shelved following the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in neighboring Ukraine.

Belarusian opposition and environmental activists have raised concerns over the project, which were further fuelled by the March 2011 accident at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power station. Lithuania has demanded the plant be moved away from its border.

Russia says it employs advanced technology to ensure accident-free operations at all the power stations it builds.

Well, it is not really the technology per se, no matter how advanced, which is the issue here. It is how the plant is managed and operated and the kind of political and social environment that it exists. Abysmal failures on all of them in Japan. How will it be different in Belarus?

Maybe it was like selling nuclear power to the Japanese after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and immediately after the Bikini Atoll (Dai-Go Fukuryu-Maru) - since Japan suffered atomic atrocities, only Japan could use the atomic energy for peaceful purposes.

In the case of Belarus, the sales pitch (if they ever needed one) would be: "Belarus has suffered tremendously from the Chernobyl nuclear accident. So, only Belarus, who has learned the lessons from the accident, will be able to operate a safe, state-of-the-art nuclear power plant and demonstrate to the world that the country has totally recovered from the accident." Something like that...


Anonymous said...

What is meant to be spent on safety will be skimmed off for gold plated bedside tables for some huge mansion somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Human arrogance in full swing.

I haven't directly suffered from Chernobyl and I'd be even safer than Belarus by NOT BUILDING ANYMORE REACTORS.

Anonymous said...

"n the case of Belarus, the sales pitch (if they ever needed one) would be: "Belarus has suffered tremendously from the Chernobyl nuclear accident. So, only Belarus, who has learned the lessons from the accident, will be able to operate a safe, state-of-the-art nuclear power plant and demonstrate to the world that the country has totally recovered from the accident." Something like that..."

that is hilarious. monty-python-esque. just a flesh wound : D

Anonymous said...

Their logic is basically "the fact that we got owned proves that we are the most awesome." Methinks they have not learned the right lessons.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@anon at 8:52AM, as I wrote in the post, that's exactly how nuclear power was sold to Japan. "Japan suffered tremendously from the nuclear bombs, and now from Bikini Atoll nuclear testing. So, only Japan, who has learned the lessons of how bad nuclear power can be, will be able to use nuclear power for peaceful purposes and demonstrate to the entire world that Japan has fully recovered from the trauma..."

Anonymous said...

Chernobyl is in the Ukraine and they are increasing their nuclear plants from 15 to 22.

In June 2011, three months after Fukushima, a pro-nuclear politician won in a landslide election to be Governor of the Aomori prefecture in Japan. Aomori has 1 nuclear reactor and had 4 more planned. A pro-nuclear mayor who supports building a reactor in his province won a landslide election against his anti-nuclear opponent in Yamaguchi Prefecture. Then in August 2011 a pro-nuclear Prime Minister was elected in Japan, Yoshihiko Noda, who stated he would reduce reliance on nuclear energy but never get rid of it completely.

On 15 April 2012 a pro-nuclear mayor named Ishihara who promoted coexistance with nuclear power won an election against 2 other anti-nuclear candidates who didn't want to restart the Hamaoka reactor in Shizuoka Prefecture. Ishihara won 12,018 votes, well ahead of the 6,840 for Katsuhisa Mizuno and the 1,891 for Haruhisa Muramatsu. Voter turnout was 76.69 percent. It's amazing that 30,000 protesters against nuclear power seem to have more power than the rest of the nation. The polls and images that the media choose to promote are all of Japanese protesting nuclear power.

I am starting to think that all these armchair warriors & bleeding hearts who are thousands of miles away from what they are protesting against on the internet are the only ones against nuclear. :) Just joking, but it does seem that it is from outsiders at a distance whom seem the most terrified although I would prefer countries such as Belarus not to have nuclear power. Do they have the same regulations as other countries such as the US?

Anonymous said...

Again, I'd like to post a quote from the movie "Chernobyl - 25 Years Later," which focuses on how the younger generation deals/struggles with the aftermath of the nuclear disaster there:



Anonymous said...

Anon @12.23

When people don't vote for the safest stand on their children's health I too, think it is amazing. But we know that money can change the viewpoint of the ordinary person just as it can influence politicians.

Government subsidies seem to be the main reason people are voting to risk the health of their children. Politician may become very wealthy because of there involvement with the nuclear industry. And so the cycle goes on.

You are concerned about Belarus obtaining nuclear power. But I put it to you, that it does not matter where it is built because we are all human and it will be human error that will create the next nuclear disaster.

I must say, that there is very much a lack of bleeding hearts in the nuclear industry but I have seen a few hearts change to a more cautious approach to the risks and safety of their industry.

I for one read your comment written no doubt from your armchair and will continue to advocate the dismantling of the nuclear industry from mine.

Anonymous said...

So your saying the Japanese are opportunists who would sell their children for a quick buck? Just because you believe the anti-nuclear stance is the safe stand doesn't make it true. A clear majority of "ordinary" people voted contrary to your opinion in local, provincial and national democratic elections so the only logical explaination in your opinion is they were bribed.... interesting.

robertb said...

Sigh... These people should be removed from office. I can't believe they want more nuke anything.

Anonymous said...

Anon @2.12

If you think "government subsidies" equates to bribery then I guess you are correct.

And how can you think the pro nuclear stance is the SAFE stand?

It is time to STOP building nuclear disasters.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:46 Hate to inform you but all energy sources recieve subsidies (renewables 27 billion (5 cents per kWh, Nuclear 45 billion 1.07 cents per kWh and coal 400 billion 0.08 cents per kWh). Whatever source they use it will have subsidies attached.

Nuclear does have the lowest death rate when compared to all the other energy sources (coal kills thousands a day and no one blinks an eye in protest) Even wind turbines take a toll

Interest groups like greenpeace and the media need to manufacture imminent crisis' to get attention and money. What would happen to websites like this is everything was 'hunky dory' in Fukushima? They have to create links that don't exist and emotionalise issues that don't belong to radiation.

Who am I to complain, whatever turns you on...

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