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2012.11.29 09:43

The Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant “is an unrealistic project” – PM Butkevicius

Jorge Marcano | The Lithuania Tribune2012.11.29 09:43

Lithuanian Prime Minister, Algirdas Butkevicius, explained that he considers the Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant (VNPP) project as an unrealistic venture. In his own words, “this project is an unrealistic project. The neighboring countries have acknowledged this as well. This is our opinion at the moment, but we will continue to speak about and analyse this,” Butkevicius manifested to reporters.

Lithuanian Prime Minister, Algirdas Butkevicius, explained that he considers the Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant (VNPP) project as an unrealistic venture. In his own words, “this project is an unrealistic project. The neighboring countries have acknowledged this as well. This is our opinion at the moment, but we will continue to speak about and analyse this,” Butkevicius manifested to reporters.

Mr. Butkevicius said that there were no final decisions on stopping the VNPP and that his coalition partners are still discussing the issue. What is clear is that many within the Social Democratic party, line Economy Minister nominee, Birute Vesaite are against the nuclear project. In remarks given yesterday to Lithuanian industrialists, the Social Democrat expressed that the VNPP project was simply too costly and too risky for a small nation like Lithuania. She echoed Mr. Butkevicius’ early statements that energy independence was as important as economic independence, whilst adding that there were no guarantees of participation by regional partners in the project.

During the presentation, MP Vesaite explained that “a consultative referendum was held for the first time in Lithuania’s history on October 14th. Some 52.58% of Lithuanian voters turned out and 62.8% of those who cast ballots said ´no´ to the construction of the Visaginas nuclear power plant. The (would-be) 16th government, taking into consideration the will of the citizens, decided to discontinue this project,” Vesaite concluded.

BNS obtained a preliminary governmental programme which expresses that the “16th government, implementing the will of the citizens, will not continue this project,” read the document, according to BNS. The programme calls for expanding the total capacity of the Kruonis Pumped Storage Plant to 1,600 MW.

In related developments, Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves expressed today during his visit to Vilnius that Estonia was disappointed at the turnaround on the development of the nuclear project. From the Estonian president’s perspective, 6 and half years were lost on the Visaginas project. On her part, President Dalia Grybauskaite expressed that the various positions made by Lithuanian governments regarding the VNPP were hurting the country’s image.

Lithuania Tribune