3The Astravyets Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) is a multi-reactornuclear power plant project in4Belarus. The need for the project evolved in the aftermath of the energy dispute between Russia 5and-Belarus in 2007.
6The project for the Astravyets NPP (specifically reactor 1) has brought with it numerous violations7and shortcomings, including a general lack of respect towards international standards for nuclear 8safety, serious safety violations, and major incidents (ex. fire incident during building process), 9the worst violation in the development of Astravyets NPP being the selection of an unsustainable 10site for its construction. The full realization of the Astravyets NPP would have a devastating 11impact on the health and safety for most of Europe and have comparable effects on the residents 12of Europe as the Chernobyl disaster. Said accident occurred in 1986, the harmful effects of the 13released nuclear radiation are seen until today. Estimates conclude that between 15 000 and 30 14000 people have lost their lives due to the Chernobyl accident and more than 2.5 million 15Ukrainians are still struggling with health problems related to nuclear waste.
16The project plans for the Astravyets NPP have raised several concerns among civil liberty groups17which have collected signatures against the construction of a nuclear power plant in Belarus. On 187th of February 2019, a meeting of the parties of the Convention on Environmental Impact 19Assessment (the Espoo Convention) decided that Belarus had violated the Convention when 20choosing a construction site for the nuclear power plant. Reviewing violations of the Astravyets 21NPP has attracted the attention of the international community. After the Fukushima disaster, the 22International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued recommendations against building NPPs 23within a 100-kilometers radius from major centers of population and larger cities (Vilnius 45 km 24away).
25The former President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker stated on 24th of26November 2017 that the Astravyets Nuclear project was not simply a bilateral issue between 27Lithuania and a neighboring country but a European issue, and that he was in full solidarity with 28Lithuanians, with the need for the issue to be monitored very closely.
29Considering that: 30the Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant (Astravyets NPP) construction site is located 20 km
30the Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant (Astravyets NPP) construction site is located 20 km31from the Lithuanian (EU) border, 45 km away from the capital city Vilnius, the largest city 32in Lithuania which has more than 544 000 inhabitants and is home to nationaland 33European governmental institutions;
34the Astravyets NPP poses a threat to the national security of neighbouring countries, the35environment, and public health;
36The nuclear power plant is a commercially unfeasible project, given its dependence on37Russian funding and technology and is aimed towards strengthening the geopolitical 38position of Russia in the region;
39The decision of the Espoo Convention on February 7th states that Belarus has infringed40Articles 4 to 6 of the Convention. It has been concluded that Belarus had not properly 41assessed the environmental impact of the NPP project, had not properly consulted the 42potentially affected countries and overall had adopted the wrong final decision for the 43location of the Astravyets NPP without justifying the decision;
44The relevant regulator for nuclear safety in Belarus has no full institutional independence;
45The European Council has endorsed the objective to achieve a climate-neutral European46Union by 2050 and clearly stated on 12 December 2019 that even facilities in third 47countries need to adhere to the highest international environmental and safety standards;
48Radioactive waste can pose a threat to the environment and is highly dangerous for49humans;
50Nuclear power plants have a greater impact on the environment than just the waste they51produce. mining and enrichment of uranium are not environmentally friendly processes; 52open-pit mining for uranium is safe for miners but leaves behind radioactive particles, 53causes erosion, and can even pollute nearby sources of water.
54Therefore the LYMEC Congress:
55Demands EU that the nuclear regulatory authorities of Belarus should not be issued an56operating license for the Astravets NPP (reactor 1) that is currently being built on a site on 57the border with the EU and with this in an immediate proximity to the capital of Lithuania, 58Vilnius. In the event of the Belarusian authorities and ROSATOM deciding to continue 59with the project for the construction of the remaining reactors 2, 3 and 4, the European 60Union should pressure for the relocation of the reactors to an another site with the 61closing or relocation of reactor 1;
62Expresses that the European Commission and the Council should express full solidarity63with Lithuania, which has declared the Astravyets NPP a threat to its national security and 64subsequently adopted laws banning the import of electricity generated in the power plant, 65specifically reactor 1;
66Finds that the EU (and associated countries from the region) should not trade for67electricity that has been generated by unsafe nuclear power plants that can threaten the 68national security of at least one of the EU Member States with the European Commission 69and the Council of the EU;
70Demands that Belarus fully implement the recommendations of the stress tests of the71Astravyets NPP carried out by the EU nuclear safety authorities before putting the plant 72into operation.
73Calls on the European Commission, the Council of the EU, associated countries and74strategic partners of the EU to consider sanctions against ROSATOM and other 75companies responsible for the construction of the Astravyets NPP and those engaged in 76the trade of electricity produced by the nuclear plant in case the aforementioned demands 77are not being met. Accordingly, the future of the the relations between the EU and 78Belarus should depend on the readiness of the Belarusian authorities to meet these 79demands;
80Finds that the synchronization of the energy sectors in the Baltic States to the European81network of power systems should be completed as early as possible but no later than by 822025. This would increase the energy security of the EU and reduce the dependence of 83the Baltic States on energy resources from Russia. The full independence of the Baltic 84States from Russian energy sources is incomplete as long as the relevant electricity grid 85systems are not synchronized with the European network, remaining to be connected 86with the power supply system covering the Baltic States. This can create an opportunity 87for political interference by Russia, the Russian nuclear industry is already being used in 88Europe as an instrument for the implementation of the Russian government’s geopolitical 89agenda. The continuation of this agenda can create new threats, including hybrid threats, 90increasing the influence of Russia or be a measure for imposing a Russian set of rules 91there.
Attention: This is a preview! The official text is printed in the proposal book for Skopje Spring Congress 2020 03 - 05 April 2020.