We learned thanks to a mistake: personnel were exposed to radiation at the Belarusian nuclear power plant, – media
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Belarusian authorities did not make official statements regarding the exposure of workers at the power plant, but the media found evidence.
In April 2022, radiation exposure of personnel could occur at the Belarusian NPP. This was reported by European Radio for Belarus.
The source notes that there is no official information about the incident, however, according to information from internal channels, exposure could have occurred in the period from April 17 to April 29, 2022.The authors of the publication point out that at that time the nuclear power plant was undergoing “scheduled preventive maintenance”, during which the first power unit was shut down for further refueling of nuclear fuel. Initially, the shutdown was supposed to last about 80 days, but the power unit returned to work only six months later.
Where did the information about the incident come from
The incident became known due to an error in the Belarusian system of electronic appeals to government departments. A “hole” in the system made it possible to access thousands of applications, among which journalists found an email to the BelNPP on behalf of NefteKhimDiagnostics LLC with the subject line “Application – warning about personnel exposure”.
Roman Filipovets, director of NeftekhimDiagnostics LLC, was listed as the author of the appeal. The letter says that a video of the moment of exposure of employees has been sent to the official e-mail of the Belarusian NPP.
It is noted that NefteKhimDiagnostics is engaged in maintenance of equipment and technological installations at hazardous industrial facilities. On the website of the company it is indicated that the company works with “Energy Enterprises of the Republic of Belarus”.
Euroradio notes that the journalists failed to establish a direct connection between the BelNPP and NefteKhimDiagnostics LLC. However, the media do not rule out that the company could have found out about the exposure of the plant's workers.
Journalists also note that Filipovets's appeal could have been about the personnel of NefteKhimDiagnostics. This could happen in the process of gamma flaw detection, which is used to search for defects using radioactive radiation.
According to nuclear physicist Andrey Ozharovsky, the exposure could also be caused by the contact of people with oil pipes, which contain accumulations of thorium and uranium.
It is not yet possible to establish for sure whether the exposure mentioned in the letter is related to the repair work on Belorusskaya NPP.
Reaction of “NefteKhimDiagnostics”
Journalists turned to the representatives of “NefteKhimDiagnostics” for comment, but there was no unequivocal answer regarding the exposure of personnel.
“With a request probably our radiation safety workshop was working, if there was such a request. Because I doubt it. And what kind of exposure could there be?” – answered in the information center.
Roman Filipovets, in a telephone conversation, promised journalists to contact them later, referring to the fact that he was uncomfortable talking. Later, the director of NefteKhimDiagnostics said that the conversation would take place “after the New Year and the holidays.”
More Focus wrote that on December 19, an Iranian Shahed drone was seen over the South Ukrainian nuclear power plant . The national nuclear company Energoatom noted that the drone flew close to the nuclear facility.