Japan provided the equipment to the Republic of Belarus under the Project “The Modernization of the System to Deter Illicit Trafficking of Nuclear and Radioactive Materials at the State Borders of the Republic of Belarus” (total cost : approx. 76 million JPY). The Implementing Arrangement for this cooperation was signed between the Japan-Belarus Committee and the State Border Committee of the Republic of Belarus in July, 2010.
«Background of the Project»
The Republic of Belarus is a landlocked country located in Eastern Europe and on a trading route connecting the EU and Russia. In recent years, the increasing number of cargos with high radiation was detected at border checkpoints, and it was necessary for the border guards to respond to such incidents in a timely manner.
Another aspect is that one fifth of the territory of Belarus was contaminated with industrial radionuclides as a result of the Chernobyl catastrophe in 1986. Contaminated goods were continuously trafficked from the affected areas along the Belarus-Ukraine border, hence the urgent need to reinforce the ability to prevent illicit trafficking of nuclear and radioactive materials in the border area.
|Border checkpoints||Entry to Chernobyl zone|
«Enhancing the Ability to Detect and Respond to Radiological Incidents»
Under this Project, three mobile laboratories were provided for immediate response to radiological incidents. Once a high level of radiation is detected at a border checkpoint, the laboratory arrives on the scene and identifies the isotope contained in the goods or vehicles. The Project also established a geo-information radiation monitoring system, which enables the mobile laboratories to transmit measured data to the command center and external agencies to make swift and qualified decisions on a further response. Furthermore, modern radiation detectors were provided for a patrol of 34 simplified checkpoints and green borders (unattended border area) in Belarus.
The Japanese assistance has enabled the border officers to inspect more than 290 thousand vehicles and freight trains within eighteen months after the completion of the Project.
|Operational response laboratory and its crew|
|Geo-information radiation monitoring system|
|Inspection of vehicle and cargo|
«Upgrading the Proficiency of Border Guard Specialists»
This Project also assisted the State Border Committee to establish a specialized classroom for radiation security in the Border Guard Institute to upgrade the proficiency of border guard specialists against illicit trafficking of nuclear and radioactive materials. The classroom is also used for various seminars held by domestic and overseas organizations in the nuclear field.
«Implementation of Ex-post Evaluation»
To verify the effect and sustainability of the Project, a field survey (ex-post evaluation) was conducted in November 2012. The independent experts confirmed that the Project contributed significantly to strengthening detection and response capacities against radiological incidents in the state border of Belarus.
The European Commission and the IAEA highly evaluated this project as consistent with national efforts of Belarus to strengthen nuclear security.
|Specialized classroom for radiation security|