RIGA - Russian experts asserted during a presentation of the Kaliningrad nuclear power plant project in Riga on Jan. 27 that the project will have no detrimental effect on the environment, reports news agency LETA. Despite the fact that Russia has not ratified the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context, which lays down the general obligations of states to notify and consult each other on all major projects under consideration that are likely to have a significant adverse environmental impact across boundaries, the Russian experts agreed to inform various Latvian institutions and organizations about their report on the assessment of the plant’s impact on the environment, as the spokesperson for the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry, Dace Satrovska, said.
The Russian experts’ task was to inform the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry, several other governmental institutions and representatives of non-governmental organizations about their assessment of the impact a Kaliningrad nuclear power plant would have on the environment, an assessment which was carried out already in 2009.
The ministry concluded after the presentation that the power plant in Kaliningrad will be “very safe and will not be detrimental to the environment,” said Satrovska.
Implementation of the project in Kaliningrad will continue at a fast pace. The first unit will be launched already in 2016. During such projects there are always concerns about emergency situations, however, Russian experts confirmed that “everything is in order,” said Satrovska.
Though looking to cut dependence on Russian energy supplies, together with safety concerns about Russian nuclear plant technology, the Baltic States find they are still haggling over a new project to replace the shuttered Ignalina nuclear plant in Lithuania. Despite the delay with the Lithuanian Visaginas power plant project, and the fact that it is still the best and the fastest option for the Baltic States, Eesti Energia is also working on its own project, said the company’s CEO Sandor Liive in an interview with the business information portal Nozare.lv. Liive also said that the Baltic States’ current support for the Lithuanian project was not enough for decisions on investment to be made.
“We started the project together in 2006. In 2007, the Lithuanians said that they needed to resolve their internal problems. Several years have passed, and something else must be done,” Liive said, explaining the reasons behind the Estonian power plant project.
“If the Lithuanians tell us that everything is ready, we will take a look; however, if the Estonian power plant project will be ready earlier, the decision will be made. The potential location for the Estonian power plant is already known, only a political decision is needed,” said Liive.
Commenting on the impact of Kaliningrad’s nuclear power plant project on the Lithuanian project, Liive said: “Everyone knows why this is being done [by Russia]; it is so that Lithuania would not do the project and, together with Latvia, would remain dependent on energy imports.”