V.T.Kazazyan, Secretary of the Commission
The Commission on the Assessment of the Advisability of Nuclear Power Development in the Republic of Belarus created by the decree of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus of the 31st of March 1998 No. 88 r started to work on the first of July, 1998, and held four meetings. Protocols of the meetings and registration sheets are attached. [Translators note: materials are attached only to the commission's original report, and are not available on-line.]
In order to inform the population of the Republic of Belarus about the activities of the Commission, representatives of the mass media were invited. Lists of the journalists invited to the Commission's meetings are attached.
For the purpose of the comprehensive analysis of the issue of the advisability of nuclear power development in Belarus, the following reports were presented to the Commission:
In addition, the following materials were submitted to the Commission on 29th of December, 1998:
All the above-mentioned documents are attached to the Conclusion.
After detailed discussion of the materials, on 15-16 October, 1998, work groups on the following directions were created:
The above-mentioned directions were discussed in the work groups; materials were presented and reported at the working meeting of the Commission.
The following materials have been presented:
Regarding the expediency of the nuclear power development in the country, members of the work group disagreed.
Some of the participants, led by the Chairman of the work group O.G.Martynenko, prepared a Decision, in which they have stated the need for and the obligation for nuclear power plant construction in Belarus, with commissioning of the first block by 2010.
Other participants, led by I.N.Smolyar, presented a Conclusion on the inexpedience of nuclear power development in the Republic of Belarus and suggested introducing a moratorium for nuclear power plant construction for the next 10-15 years.
All the materials are attached.
After studying all the materials, the Commission notes the following.
The Republic of Belarus possesses energy-consuming industries. In 1997 the total consumption of energy resources with regard to nodal transfers of energy, raw materials and light petroleum products amounted to 34.9 million tons of equivalent fuel, including:
Share of the local fuel and energy resources in the total balance of the country in 1997 amounted to about 14% of gross fuel and energy consumption. In the volume of imports of the country, the share of the energy resources expressed in money reaches approximately 60% and amounts to about 2 billion US dollars.
The level of economic development must be supported by the appropriate energy basis. According to the prognosis of the Ministry of Economy, consumption of electricity and heat in Belarus will reach about 55 billion K.W.H. and 99 Gcal respectively by 2015, taking into account a decrease of the energy consumption of gross domestic product by 27% due to energy savings. Based on economic expediency, at present electricity demand of Belarus is covered by 77% by the local power stations (mainly operating on imported gas), and 23% by the import of electricity from Smolensk and Ignalina nuclear power stations. In case if, according to the experts' opinion, import of electricity from Russia by 2015 will be reduced to 5 billion K.W.H. per year, than 50 billion K.W.H. should be covered by local production. Power generating equipment is so deteriorated, that only 3 of 7.4 million kWt of installed capacity will remain operative by 2015. However, taking into account the socio-economic development plan, construction of new hydroelectric and thermoelectric power plants and modernization of the old ones will require the import of about 6 million kWt by 2015.
In the future, due to the local types of fuel and renewable energy sources with regard to withdrawn reserves of oil, casing-head gas and peat, and the increased use of renewable sources, their (local fuel + renewable sources) share in fuel balance can reach 5-6 million tons of equivalent fuel per year.
The Commission considered the development of capacities in the power system of the country with regard for energy saving, non-traditional energy sources, organic and nuclear fuel, and energy import. The following scenarios were analyzed:
Natural gas (boiler oil as a reserve fuel) and import are the energy sources that are the most likely to cover the deficiency of the stock capacity of the energy system of the Republic of Belarus, which is predicted to begin by 2010.
In the future it is advisable to explore the question of nuclear power plant construction in Belarus or the joint development of nuclear power plants in neighboring states.
In spite of specific problems connected with the nuclear reactors, nuclear fuel handling, the consequences of accidents, the replacement of one block with another, the development of infrastructure, and the training of specialists, the actual contribution of nuclear power into energy production is significant and in 1997 was 16.4% of world energy production. Some countries either banned nuclear power, or announced a moratorium for construction of new nuclear power plants (Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Spain, Italy, and Sweden). At present, the USA, Canada, UK, and Germany do not build new nuclear power plants. It needed time to take measures to improve the safety of the existing nuclear power plants, and develop improved, safer and efficient projects for nuclear power plants. At present, 437 blocks of nuclear power plants with total capacity of 3,517 MWt are in operation; while 90 blocks with total capacity of 25,140 MWt are decommissioned, and 36 blocks with total capacity of 26,813 MWt are under construction. The following countries are included into the list of states with the highest quota of nuclear power in total electricity generation: Lithuania (81%), France (78%), Belgium (60%), Ukraine (47%), Bulgaria (46%), Sweden (46%), and Slovakia (45%). Programs of nuclear power development exist in France, Japan, China, Korea, India. Argentina, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Iran, Russia, Slovakia and Ukraine continue previously started construction and installation of new reactors.
Nuclear power plants with light-water shell-type pressurized reactors like PWR lead in the world nuclear power production. Schemes of new generation nuclear power plants with 600 to 1,000-1,350 MWt capacity are designed for commercial realization in the nearest future, and are based on the principle, according to which the emergency shutdown of the reactor and continuous removal of the residual heat is provided by the passive safety system without personnel involvement. For the best designs of the plants of the last generation theoretical probability of an accident with ejection of the radioactivity outside the protective shielding is 10-7 (reactor · year)-1, while for nuclear power plant-92 this value is 10-9.
Nuclear power production possesses technical, fuel, and resource potential to make a significant contribution to the limitation of atmospheric pollution resulting from energy production and the provision of energy for industry and households. For example, CO2 emissions in European countries vary from 78 tons per G.W.H. in France, where 78% of electricity is produced at NPPs, to 868 tons per G.W.H. in Denmark, where nuclear power plants do not exist.
Taking into account the current attitude of our citizens toward nuclear power plant construction, the development of alternative variants for the provision of fuel and energy resources in the country, limited financial resources, and other factors, the Commissions came to the following conclusion:
The Conclusion in clauses 1, 3, 4 and 5 is adopted at the session of the Commission on 29 December 1998 unanimously. On clause 2 nineteen members of the Commission voted for, and seven - against (V.G.Korduba proposed to make provisions for the development of nuclear power in the Republic of Belarus in the future). Protocol of voting is attached.
Chairman of the
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