VIENNA, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- The International Atomic Energy Agency said Belarus has made significant progress in the development of a safe nuclear energy program.
Minsk embraced nuclear power in the 1980s but its ambitions were thwarted by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine. Nuclear power has come under scrutiny in the wake of the March 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan.
"The report acknowledges Belarus' strong expertise in radiation protection and environmental monitoring and recognizes that good coordination in the development of Belarus' nuclear power program is beneficial," IAEA Deputy Director General Alexander Bychkov said in a statement.
The IAEA report called on Belarus to revise policies on radioactive waste and strengthen its regulatory framework for nuclear power licensing.
A plant, to be built by Russia's Atomstroyexport company, will consist of two 1,200-megawatt reactors. One unit is to be completed by 2018 and the second in 2020.
Russia said it would help finance the Belarusian project's construction.
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