Updated at 16:42,06-12-2016

Belarus and Russia expected to sign nuclear safety agreement

Belarus and Russia plan to sign an interstate agreement on nuclear safety, RIA Novosti reported on Wednesday with reference to a December 15 directive of the Russian Government.

Under the agreement, the parties would jointly develop Belarus' nuclear infrastructure as the country builds a nuclear power plant, the report said.

Belarus and Russia would also work together to develop innovative nuclear power systems, devise nuclear power regulations that would meet the standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and establish a system of emergency centers in Belarus.

The directive requires Russia's Nuclear Energy State Corporation (Rosatom), industrial safety watchdog Rostekhnadzor, and foreign ministry to work on the agreement.

Belarus' nuclear power plant will be situated in the Astravets district, Hrodna region, some 10 miles from the Lithuanian border. Its two reactors are to have a generating capacity of up to 2,400 megawatts in total. The first unit of the plant is scheduled to be put into operation in 2017 and the other one in 2018. AtomStroyExport, a subsidiary company of Rosatom, is to bear full responsibility for the project as the prime contractor.