February 6, 2008
Lithuania wants to extend the service life of the Ignalina nuclear power plant, Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas said in a traditional interview to the national radio on Tuesday.
“The European Commission is responsible for the energy security of all European Union’s members after last year’s approval of the energy action plan,” Kirkilas said.
He said Lithuania could end up depending on its neighbors after the shut down of its only Ignalina nuclear power plant, and would need to purchase gas or electricity from Russia, he said.
The main task is to reach consensus with the European Commission on the timeframe of the Ignalina NPP service life, Kirkilas said.
Lithuania still pledges to shut down the plant, but only asks to extend its service life for the particular period of time, in which it has nothing to substitute it with, he said.
He noted that several countries, including Poland and Latvia, support Lithuania’s plans.
Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland plan to build jointly a new nuclear power plant by 2015. The new plant will be constructed instead of the Ignalina nuclear power plant, which the European Union considers unsafe and which will be shut down in 2009 at Brussels’ demand.