Lithuania asks for prolonging functioning of Ignalina NPP

REAGNUM News Agency
October 10, 2007

Vilnius Energy Security Conference 2007 has opened today in Lithuania. As a REGNUMcorrespondent informs, at the morning session the Lithuanian side posed a question to international experts of prolonging functioning of the Ignalina NPP till a new nuclear power plant is constructed.

The question of prolonging Ignalina functioning was asked by Lithuanian MP Julius Veselka. In his speech, the MP pointed out that after 2009, when the Ignalina NPP is scheduled to be closed, Lithuania will fully depend on Russia. Meanwhile, international experts were exactly discussing Lithuania’s dependence on Russia. According to Veselka, “closure of the NPP is a mistake, …it is a political decision” but not “concern about security,” and Ignalina’s threat to Europe is a myth, the MP believes.

Lithuanian Economic Minister Vytas Navitskas partially supported the MP. International experts, the group including US Under Secretary of State Matthew Bryza, London City Law School, London City University Professor Alan Riley and others, differed in their opinions during the discussion, but, as some of them believe, the question can be discussed.

Now, a new project of constructing an NPP with capacity of 3,200-3,400 megawatt is under development in Lithuania. Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland are to take part in the project. However, according to expert estimations, the new energy reactor can appear in 2015 only. At the same time, under a demand of the European Union, in 2009, Lithuania is to suspend functioning of its last, the second nuclear reactor at the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant.

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