Russia and Belarus put nuclear power plant plans on paper

Publish date: August 18, 2009

Russia has cooperated with Belarus for the initial text of the intergovernmental agreement on constructing the Belarusian nuclear power plant, Interfax reported. The document will be presented to Russian and Belarusian ministries.

The two countries have also signed an action plan for 2009.

Sceptical observers have pointed out that Russia has a number of agreements and action plans with various corporations and countries that are primarily an effort to boost the ailing nuclear industry’s prestige without having to prop up that prestige with actual funding and investment.

A feasibility study of prospective investments in the Belarusian nuclear plant will be discussed soon at Atomenergoproyekt, the general designer of the project, Nuclear Engineering reported.

It is planned to construct two power units, each with the capacity of 1,200 megawatts, in the Grodno region, said the magazine.

Russia and Belarus are still required to coordinate on financial terms of the project. Interfax reported. In June 2009, Belarus asked Russia to consider a possible loan of $9 billion for the nuclear power project and related infrastructure. No decision has yet been made.

In Bellona’s opinion, one may not be forthcoming at all. Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom looks far better on paper that it does at the bank, and it has entered into a number of agreements this year and last that show no signs of moving forward.