Will Belarus offer Eur1500 to foreign nuclear expatriates?

Otherwise, it will be a difficult task to attract Russian and Lithuanian nuclear specialists who now make 3-4 times more than the Belarusian scientists at the Institute for Nuclear Research near Minsk.

Belarus officials make no secret that foreign professionals will be invited to work at the Belarusian nuclear power plant. The intention was publicly confirmed by Piotr Vitsyaz, First Deputy Chairman of the Belarusian Academy of Sciences.

Scientists at Russia’s Smolensk nuclear power station seem to be interested the most. Yuriy Patrikeev, the chief information officer at the station, says if Belarus offers higher salaries, the Russians will definitely go.

Patrikeev: “Why not? We are very near, some 80 km or even less. If a higher salary and a good position are offered, our specialists will go”.

Presently, Russian nuclear specialists earn an average of $1200 per month. To compare, Belarusian professionals at the Institute for Nuclear Research get some $300.

Nuclear specialists in Lithuania are likely to move from Ignalina to a new nuclear station that our neighbor plans to build soon. However, Garbanis Laidas, the head of human resources at the Ignalina nuclear power plant, says the Lithuanians could also work in Belarus because they speak the professional Russian fluently.

Laidas: “We have an average salary of Lt3000. Specialists get Lt4000-5000”.

This converts to Euro 800-1500. In addition, specialists are provided with apartments.

At the Rovno nuclear station in Ukraine, they couldn't immediately reveal an average salary but said it was definitely higher than the salary of public servants, according to Victoria Leonova, a spokesperson.

“An average salary in the city is around $700. People get more at the station. That’s why they stick to their jobs”, she said.

Officials at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant told the European Radio for Belarus that their specialists could not be available for Belarus, because of the differences of nuclear reactors. Currently, they are busy phasing out the station and could only send a “greenhorn” specialist.

“You don’t need temporary specialists. A new station needs permanent staff, because it requires several years to grow a good specialist. Only a very young man without a family could come to you, aiming to get housing and to build a career”, said Maya Rudenko from the station’s press office.

She also noted that recruiting specialists is a very expensive and bothersome business. But Belarus has time and seems not to count money for a peaceful nuclear program…