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VILNIUS - The two reactors that Belarus is currently building could be too many for the country, Lithuania's deputy energy minister said on Friday, commenting on a statement by Russia's ambassador in Minsk that another two reactors could be built in Astravyets in the future.
"Lithuania will implement its law and will block access to electricity from the unsafe nuclear power plant. Thus, I don't know where Belarus is going to sell that electricity, except, perhaps, to Russia's internal market," Simonas Satunas told BNS.
"Preliminary estimates already show that the two reactors under construction are too many for the Belarusian market. If so, electricity will be sold to Russia's internal market because these are integrated systems," he said.
According to the deputy minister, it remains unclear how much the Astravyets plant's electricity will cost as no concrete estimates from Belarus are available. Also, if the current price estimate does not include spent nuclear fuel storage facilities, that means that the price may be even higher.
"Repositories are extremely costly and in some places may account for almost half the cost of the development of the nuclear power plant itself. Are these costs included? If not, what is the real commercial cost of that plant?" he said.
Alexander Surikov, the Russian ambassador to Belarus, said earlier in the day that two more reactors could be built on reserve sites if market conditions were favorable, thus doubling the Astravyets plant's capacity. He said that talks on this had been held before the launch of the construction of the facility.