President Dalia Grybauskaitė, currently on her first official visit to the Republic of Kazakhstan, at the meeting with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev discussed nuclear safety issues - significant for both countries - and agreed to work together on the international arena for more effective measures aimed at ensuring the safety of nuclear facilities.
According to the President, it is highly important for Lithuania, in whose neighborhood nuclear energy projects are developed, to have active international cooperation on nuclear safety issues in place and to know that safety and stress tests, analogous to those performed in the EU, are conducted for planned nuclear power plants.
"To secure nuclear safety is a common challenge for Lithuania and Kazakhstan. We have agreed to cooperate closely to ensure that uniform international safety standards are introduced and applied in all nuclear power plants worldwide, the IAEA control measures are made tighter, and regular stress tests are performed. This is the responsibility of the whole international community," the President said.
Dalia Grybauskaitė underlined that new nuclear projects could not be even considered without a comprehensive seismic and environmental impact assessments, and stress tests must become the routine procedure for every - planned or existing - nuclear power plant. It is also necessary to maximize the control of nuclear construction sites, technologies and personnel expertise, and full compliance should be monitored by responsible international organizations.
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500 nuclear weapon tests were carried out at the Semipalatinsk Test Site in Kazakhstan. This year marks the 20th anniversary of its closure.
The Presidents of Lithuania and Kazakhstan had already raised the issue of nuclear safety at the UN General Assembly held in September in New York.