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Another Chernobyl waiting to happen? Lithuania urges citizens to store canned food after ‘incidents’ at Belarusian nuclear plant

Another Chernobyl waiting to happen? Lithuania urges citizens to store canned food after ‘incidents’ at Belarusian nuclear plant
The Lithuanian government has called on its people to stock up on tinned food in case of an accident at a Belarusian nuclear power plant, located just 50km from the Baltic state’s capital, Vilnius.

Speaking to state-owned LRT radio, Mindaugas Bajarūnas, the head of strategic communications at the country’s Ministry of the Interior implored locals to fill up their shelves with food reserves, just in case.

Construction of the Astravets Nuclear Power Plant began in 2012, and tests were completed in April 2020. It was connected to the national grid in November.

"We recommend that the population create a stock of essential products for three days," Bajarūnas said, according to Russian news agency TASS. The spokesman recommended that Lithuanians fill their homes with enough canned food, cereals, vegetable oil, sugar, and water, as a way to win some time between any accident and the arrival of government help.

Vilnius believes that the newly-built power plant is dangerous, and has claimed it violates international nuclear regulations. Built by Russia's Rosatom, Belarus maintains that it chose a Russian 3+ generation design, as it is "fully compliant with the international standards and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safety recommendations."

On Tuesday, the Belarusian Ministry of Energy admitted that an "additional adjustment" to the Astravets plant is needed, after Ecohome, a Minsk-based environmental NGO, reported that the cooling system of the first reactor had allegedly been damaged.

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