Lukashenko behind nuclear power push

  • 2011-04-27
  • From wire reports

VILNIUS - Building a nuclear power plant is vital for Belarus, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said in his address to the nation and the Parliament on April 21, reports The media are still debating the advisability of building a nuclear power plant in Belarus, particularly in light of the recent events in Japan. “I would like to set it straight: a nuclear power plant is vital for us! And it will be built in Belarus!” shouted the dictatorial president.

“Ninety-five percent of the people that speak against the nuclear power plant are people hired by our competitors. I know what I am talking about. I’ve read those papers,” claimed the head of state.
“Why are the Lithuanians so concerned about our plans to build the nuclear power plant? Why are the Poles so worried? They have plans of their own to build nuclear power plants in Lithuania and in Poland. Why are they not happy with us? Competition is the answer!” heralded the balding president.

“We may not have a nuclear power plant in our country, but there are dozens of them abroad. Does our safety get better because of it? No. Why do we fan the fire then?” he wondered. “We need a nuclear power plant! It will bring about super modern technologies, comparable with space [technology]. They will advance our science into a new era,” continued a bombastic Lukashenko. “This is why I have made the decision, and I am responsible for it: we will build a nuclear power plant, whatever it may cost us!”

The president assured listeners that the design of the future Belarusian nuclear power plant will meet the highest safety standards, and not only present-day ones. The price will be much lower than similar nuclear power plants built abroad. “They give loans, technologies, they are ready to build a turn-key solution and at Russia’s domestic prices. Russia has offered us the latest documentation and price,” said the head of state.

At present, Belarus generates 95 percent of its energy using imported natural gas. The country’s economy is vulnerable to fluctuations of the natural gas price and is forced to seek alternative sources of energy resources, diversifying deliveries. Lukashenko said that at present, Belarus has no choice but to receive natural gas from one country only. Building a nuclear power plant is one of the ways to diversify Belarus’ energy resources.

He believes that the nuclear station will provide “cheaper electricity.” Electricity generated by the nuclear power plant will be 50 percent cheaper than that generated by a gas-burning cogeneration plant. Besides, it is possible to stock up on nuclear fuel to avoid the damage of price fluctuations, asserts Lukashenko.

The nuclear power plant will allow Belarus to cut down natural gas import by 25 percent, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by roughly 10 million tons per annum, improving the environmental situation. Lukashenko added that the project will give a strong boost to the country’s social and economic development.