Lithuania will once again turn to EU energy commissioner over Astravyets

  • 2020-09-24
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – As Belarus plans to launch the Astravyets nuclear power plant's first reactor in November, Lithuania will once again ask Brussels to ensure that the nuclear facility does not come online until stress-test recommendations are implemented.

"We are now preparing a request to the European commissioner (responsible for energy Kadri Simson – BNS) to ensure that such a launch does not happen until the stress-test recommendations are implemented, and for the group of regulators to have a principled position," Lithuanian Energy Minister Zygimantas Vaiciunas told lawmakers on Thursday.

In his words, the issue will be raised during an informal meeting of energy minister on October 5-6.

Belarus should suspend the commissioning of the Astravyets nuclear power plant's first reactor until its safety problems have been resolved, the Lithuanian State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate (VATESI) said on Wednesday.

Vaiciunas says VATESI will soon send a demand to the Belarusian regulator to provide information on the nuclear facility's activity.

The minister has also numerous times attracted the attention of the International Atomic Energy Agency to the Astravyets nuclear power plant under construction close to Vilnius. The IAEA is being urged to step up its role in ensuring compliance with the top nuclear safety standards.

The Baltic states have agreed to block power produced in Astravyets from entering the market and plan to agree on all technical solutions in October.

Lithuania is the most vocal critic of the Astravyets plant and is determined to boycott its electricity. Minsk denies that the facility fails to meet international safety standards.