On the eve of the 10th anniversary of Belsat TV we made ten short films about our values - and asked famous and talented Belarusians to present them. Professor Georgy F. Lepin, a physicist, co-chairman of the public association ‘Scientists For A Nuclear-Free Belarus’, tells us about patriotism and the significance of the truth.
The scientist took part in the rectification of the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster.
“When I first heard that a site in Astravets had been chosen for the construction of nuclear power plant, I was totally shocked. I have always been aware of its being dangerous – once an earthquake happened on the spot; there is an intersection of crust fractures. The repository of anthrax is withing one kilometer. I read an official report signed by twenty experts; it clearly said that site was the worst of all they had considered. I could not understand why they failed to take such obvious facts into account,” Professor Lepin stressed.
According to him, Belarusians may pay a hefty price for such a mistake as constructing the NPP in Astravets.
“Lukashenka calls scientists who are critical of nuclear-power engineering ‘undercover bandits. Here is the only title I got from him,” he said.
“The authorities keep trying to cheat us saying that the NPP is safe, we will have cheap energy, that it is profitable. That is what they say, they are the frightened people who fear for their snug little jobs. They will never tell the truth, because they are afraid of being given the sack. They are not patriots! I believe that a patriot is a person who tells the truth in the name of the country, not for the convenience of any specific leaders,” the expert added.
The NPP first power-generating unit is scheduled for commissioning in 2019, 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, a subsidiary of the Russian state corporation Rosatom and the general contractor at the Belarusian NPP construction. 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 Belsat.eu 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 the 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.