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10 Mar, 2022 12:16

Belarusian experts to restore power at Chernobyl

They have also been tasked with providing energy security at the Ukrainian former nuclear power plant
Belarusian experts to restore power at Chernobyl

Belarusian experts have been instructed to restore the energy supply to the Chernobyl former nuclear power plant, in the north of Ukraine, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Thursday, after a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

We can see it for ourselves, and their data matches ours: the energy was cut to the Chernobyl station … There is nuclear storage there, and water is needed for the process – for the cooling, at least – and this means electricity. There is no electricity,” Lukashenko said, describing the current situation regarding the plant during a briefing of Ministry of Defense officials. 

According to Lukashenko, the station’s backup power capacities were activated, but their duration is limited. In order to restore power as soon as possible, Belarusian experts have been sent to the site, and the country’s minister of energy has been put in charge of the operation at the plant, which is located near the border with Belarus. It was possible to restore the Soviet-constructed power lanes and secure the Chernobyl station in normal mode, the president explained, adding that the measures were most likely “temporary.”

Lukashenko has assigned Belarusian military and border defense force personnel to monitor the activities of mercenary groups that, according to his government’s intelligence data, have been detected on Ukrainian territory, moving along the border towards the power plant.

In 1986, Chernobyl was the site of the world’s worst nuclear catastrophe. Although no longer functioning, the station still requires constant upkeep. Earlier this week, Ukraine reported that power had been lost at the site. It accused the Russian Army of causing the incident and warned that this could lead to a similar disaster. However, the International Atomic Energy Agency said on Wednesday that the power shortage represented no “critical” threat at present. 

The plant was seized by Russian military forces during the early days of Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine. Russia says the aim of its offensive is to “demilitarize” and “denazify” the country in order to protect the Russian-speaking population of the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Kiev insists the attack was completely unprovoked and denies claims it had been planning to retake the two regions by force.