Did anyone else flinch today at the sight of Vladimir Putin quaffing champagne with the Belarusian Prime Minister in celebration of the news that Belarus and Russia are to tie up a hefty nuclear energy and cash deal? Belarus will get $6 billion (some reports
suggested a much higher figure of $9.4 billion) from Russia which it will effectively pay straight back, albeit indirectly through Atomstroiexport, which will do ‘most of the construction work
‘ on the first Belarusian nuclear power plant.
With the status of Japan’s radiation still uncertain, it does at best seem ‘strangely ill timed
‘ (from CSM
). At worst, callous. And more realistically, extremely risky. Venezuela, Germany, and Switzerland are all rethinking their nuclear policies today for a reason: nuclear power is a high-risk approach to energy, requiring high competence and long-term social stability. And Belarus, as we know, is ruled by a dictator with a terrible human rights record
, so stability is not exactly guaranteed in that region…