Investigation Committee gives details of another incident at Astravets NPP

On December 6, there were unconfirmed reports about one more death on the construction site of the Belarusian nuclear power plant.

“I have got a call: two days ago a worker died at the Astravets NPP. He is said to have been a young man who just quit the army. He fell from height and died,” politician Pavel Sevyarynets said on Facebook.

Information about the incident was partially confirmed by Syarhei Sharshanevich, a representative of the Investigative Committee in Hrodna region. On December 2, a builder stumbled on the stairway to to the basement, fell down and fractured his thigh bone, he said. The investigation is being carried out, the official added.

According to activist Mikalai Ulasevich, at least 10 persons lost lives during the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant in Astravets. Deputy Energy Minister Mikhail Mikhadzyuk refuted the statement saiyng that ‘only three people’ were killed at the construction site. Those three accidents occurred due to the fault of the workers, Mikhadzyuk stressed.

The NPP first power-generating unit is scheduled for commissioning in 2018, the second one – in 2020. The construction of two nuclear reactors is provided in the agreement reached by Belarus and Russia, the reactors being supplied by Atomstroyexport, Russia. The project faced opposition at home and abroad on both safety and political grounds.

Lithuania is the main critic of the idea of the Belarusian nuclear power plant, which is only 20 km from the border and 50 km from Vilnius. Minsk rejects Lithuania’s claims, arguing that nuclear power plants will have high safety standards. Vilnius asked Brussels for involvement of the European Union in the matter.

On 8 April 2016, there was a collapse of the structural frame of the would-be nuclear service building at Astravets NPP, of which was informed in early May.

At first, the authorities denied our report saying that there had not been any incidents at the construction site. State-run mass media remained silent as well. After the publication Lithuania summoned Belarus’ ambassador and handed him a diplomatic note demanding explanation over the incident.

As reported earlier, during installation the enclosure of the future reactor fell from the height of 2 – 4 meters at the construction site of the Belarusian NPP in Astravets.

At the moment, Belarus and Russia are discussing technical aspects of replacing the compromised reactor vessel for the Belarusian nuclear power plant.