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Belarus was the first to fight radiation, and the first to reach a new level of nuclear energy

Two facets of our consciousness

April 26 is a special day in the life of Belarus. The Chernobyl tragedy left deep scars on the hearts and land of Belarusians. This man-made disaster became a part of almost all languages of the world. In 1990, the General Assembly adopted resolution 45/190, which called for "international cooperation in mitigating and overcoming the consequences of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident."

Belarus, together with other affected countries, started a phased work with the consequences of the accident. The President of Belarus highlighted the main thing that forever defined the Belarusian approach to any problem: "The task of the state is not to look for those responsible for the Chernobyl accident, but to support people living in the Chernobyl areas and do everything possible to rehabilitate and return the lands affected by the disaster."

The Head of our State has made over 50 trips to contaminated areas.

"It was a very difficult time… But I made a decision for myself that this prosperous and beautiful corner of not only Belarus, but also Europe, our planet, should live, we should in no case abandon it," Alexander Lukashenko said.

Since 1991, Belarus has established a legal framework aimed at protecting the interests of all categories of affected citizens. These are the laws "On Social protection of citizens affected by the Chernobyl disaster and other radiation accidents" and "On the legal regime of territories exposed to radioactive contamination." Since 2010, the Children of Chernobyl subprogram has been implemented.

The 2021 launched the implementation of the sixth State Program to overcome the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. Within the framework of the Union State of Belarus and Russia, attention to this problem has been reflected in the allocation of special programs.

Man-made disasters have a special status because they generate fear, uncertainty that a person can control them. Belarus was the first to fight an unknown enemy – radiation, and the first to reach a new level of interaction with nuclear energy. Years of painstaking work to overcome the consequences of the accident, scientific research in medicine, environmental monitoring, and agroecology have given confidence that it is we can and should live with atom.

Belarusians made a decision to build a nuclear power plant in spite of everything. Today we can see how well it was verified. Since the 1990s, science has taken several steps forward. Russian scientists have developed and implemented advanced technologies in the nuclear industry which are highly appreciated all over the world. Energy security has become an ultimate priority for all countries.

As known, the development of any state, its social stability and the quality of life of people depend on the resource base. This resource base should be internal and reduce the need for external supplies. The Belarusian NPP is a strategic resource unit that allows implementing development programs in Belarus for many years to come.

Constructing a nuclear power plant and its operation are not only energy issues, but also the large-scale development of related industries. First of all, educational. Belarus trains specialists with unique competencies that are in demand all over the world. The Belarusian NPP has a team of professionals who can fully realize themselves for the benefit of the country.

An impetus has been given to such a promising industry as electric transport. There's a developing related infrastructure and a network of charging stations for electric cars. In the construction sector, the use of electricity is a steady trend, including in terms of individual construction. This, in turn, launched the process of updating and building modern power transmission lines.

The Belarusian experience in nuclear energy development is still under close attention, only from a qualitatively different perspective. Due to the ban on the supply of Russian energy resources to the EU, the issue of energy security for a number of states has become acute. Also, it turned out that the green transition could be made only with the availability of cheap gas and oil from Russia. Lithuania, which for many years has declared the danger of the Belarusian NPP on all international platforms, speaks today of the need for the country to build low-power nuclear power plants.

The Estonian leadership has also taken care of problems with the supply of electricity, the demand for which is constantly increasing. A special working group created to assess the state and need for resources of the Estonian economy has issued an unequivocal verdict: it is nuclear energy that will ensure sustainable supplies and stabilize domestic demand. But it will take from 9 to 11 years to launch low-power nuclear power plants.

As for the safety of nuclear power plants, we have finally heard sound speeches from our neighbors and once again saw double standards in relation to our country.

"It is clear that without delving into nuclear energy, the entire sphere can be branded in the style of "yes, it's all one solid Chernobyl." But this is not true," a specialist from Estonia said.

Poland is also betting on nuclear energy. Warsaw's energy strategy stipulates that two nuclear power plants will be built by 2040. The first reactor is scheduled to be commissioned in 2033 . Poland's plans are of serious concern to Germany, which, like Lithuania, believes that this is a direct threat to cities such as Berlin and Hamburg. But Polish experts are inexorable: this is about national interests, and the fears of Germany are its right, nothing more.

The main problem of these countries is who will finance the construction, since they themselves cannot do this. Poland places its hopes on the United States, and is not at all worried about becoming dependent on Washington. While Belarus inevitably "gets into bondage" by implementing a joint Belarusian NPP project with Russia.

The strength and resilience of the state depends primarily on people, on how they evaluate certain events in their history. The uniqueness of our people is in the fact that they have always been able to step over any difficulties and move on. Chernobyl and the Belarusian NPP are two facets of the Belarusian consciousness, which form a solid foundation for the future of our country.