KAISIADORYS DISTRICT - Lithuania's Kruonis Pumped Storage Hydro Power Plant will not be used for Astravyets' reserve needs, President Gitanas Nauseda said on Monday, warning that a hasty launch of Belarus' nuclear power facility would pose a threat to the entire region.
"It was very important for me to find out whether the Kruonis facility could be used as a reserve for the Astravyets as nuclear power plant," Nauseda told reporters during his visit to the plant in the district of Kaisiadorys, adding that he "received all the assurances" that it could not.
"That means that the Astravyets builders will have to search for reserve capacity elsewhere and this will be their concern," the president said.
"In any case, it should be stated very clearly that at the moment, we don't see any preconditions for this nuclear power plant to operate safely. Its functioning or premature launch would pose a safety threat not only to the surrounding countries in the region, but also to the people of Belarus or the state of Belarus," he added.
According to Nauseda, the Kruonis plant is a key element of the Lithuanian energy system that plays a very important role in ensuring its reliability.
"We discussed plans and how the facility's operations would change both during the implementation of the synchronization project and during the transition to alternative energy sources that will involve increasing local generation capacity," he said.
The Kruonis facility, the only of its kind in the Baltic countries, balances electricity supply and demand and ensures Lithuania's energy system reserve in an emergency. It can be switched on within minutes in case of a system-wide blackout.