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Lithuanian minister says giving up nuclear energy 'big mistake'

BBC International Reports (Europe)  


    Text of report in English by privately-owned Baltic News Service on 16 August

    Vilnius, 16 August: Lithuania's decision to give up nuclear energy was a mistake, the country's Energy Minister Dainius Kreivys says.

    "As today's situation shows, it (giving up the Visaginas nuclear power plant project - BNS) was a mistake. It has to be admitted that it was a big mistake. It was a mistake made by all of us," Kreivys told a joint meeting of the parliamentary Committee on Economic Affairs and the Commission for Energy and Sustainable Development on Tuesday.

    Differently from the oil and LNG sector, Lithuania has failed to do its "homework" in the electricity sector, the energy minister said.

    "Today we have a market price that is six to seven times higher, plus we have the Astravets nuclear power plant (in Belarus). If we had Visaginas (nuclear power plant), there would be no Astravets. From the security point of view, I think the decision was really questionable, and I think there was a lot of misleading information in the political sphere at the time," Kreivys said on Tuesday after a meeting with President Gitanas Nauseda.

    Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Japan's Hitachi hoped to build a new nuclear power plant by 2020-22 next to Lithuania's Ignalina nuclear facility that was shut down in late 2009.

    The Lithuanian government had plans to start the construction in 2015 and for the new facility to start generating electricity by 2022 at the latest.

    However, the project, planned by the then government led by the conservative Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats, was scrapped after a 2012 referendum failed to secure public support for the project.

    Source: Baltic News Service, Tallinn, in English 1237 gmt 16 Aug 22


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