Kirkilas expressed his opinion about Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant in Prague

Monday, May 26, 2008

In Prague, where was the second European Nuclear Energy Forum, Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas participated in the meeting with President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso and the prime ministers of Slovenia, the Baltic States and the Visegrad Group Countries.

The meeting focused on the importance of nuclear energy for the European Union, as ELTA was informed by the Lithuanian government. According to Kirkilas, from the economic viewpoint, nuclear energy is among the most attractive alternatives to other energy resources, and at the same time it is an important tool in combating global warming.

Kirkilas told about the progress in preparing the project on a new nuclear power plant in Lithuania. He described Lithuania’s situation with regard to energy supply and threats to country’s energy and national security after 2009. Lithuania, said Kirkilas, was like an island within the EU in terms of energy supply, and the construction of power bridges with Poland and Sweden would take another few years. In addition to that, import of electricity would be hardly possible, and Lithuanian energy sector would largely depend on a single external supplier.

The prime ministers shared the opinion that energy security is a question of solidarity and common responsibility of the EU. Kirkilas emphasized that Lithuania would stick to its international obligations, however, considering that implementation of measures compensating for the closure of Ignalina NPP could not realistically be expected before 2012, and that there was increasing public demand to extend its operation, a decommissioning regime alternative to the "immediate shutdown" was worth serious consideration.

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