You may remember my recent “silly blogging”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/1649/belarusians-hate-the-npp-heart-the-iaea about nuclear power plant construction plans in “Belarus”:http://www.nti.org/e_research/profiles/Belarus/index.html. I just wanted to update with a recent development. As you may or may not know, the Belarusian government sent an invite to three companies — Atomstroyexport, Areva-Siemens and Toshiba-Westinghouse — to submit bids. From the start, Atomstroyexport was into the idea, Areva said they’d think about it, while Toshiba was kinda quiet. Lukashenko was eager to get the Japanese to participate, even saying at one point that they built the world’s safest reactors.
Belarusian news agency Belapan reported on Aug 11 that *Toshiba-Westinghouse* finally replied to the Belarusian government saying that *cooperation wouldn’t be possible without a 123 Agreement with the U.S.* The Belarusian deputy energy minister was quoted as saying that “At the same time, they said that *it would take a few years to conclude such an agreement*.”
A few years? Certainly, peaceful nuclear cooperation doesn’t go well with “_selective engagement_”:http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5371.htm#relations… But still, quite a gentle way of saying “*In your dreams, Mister!*”
At this point, it appears likely that the NPP will be a project involving both Atomstroyexport and Areva, though talks with the latter were apparently postponed because Atomic Anne was on vacation. But have no doubt, Lukashenko will build that plant, even if he has to do it with _his own bare hands_…