VILNIUS - Lithuania can still be a nuclear energy country, provided that the Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) project conditions are improved and partners are further involved in the project, Lithuanian Energy Minister Jaroslav Neverovich said in an interview with Ziniu radijas radio on Aug. 1, reports ELTA.
“I can only say again what we have already confirmed in the government - under certain conditions, nuclear power can still be part of Lithuania’s basket of energy resources. For this, work on improving the economic model of the project must continue; our partners have to cooperate and there has to be more extensive cooperation with the partners concerning investments in Lithuanian economy,” said Neverovich.
Assuming that the nuclear project remains on Lithuania’s agenda, the question is what matters need to be solved right now, and the way the project is now, it is the power utilities that should do this, said Neverovich, adding that the strategic investor, Japan’s Hitachi, was of the same opinion.
Previously, Neverovich said that the future of the Visaginas NPP project should be clear by this fall.
Neverovich also said, commenting on reports about an ongoing investigation in Lithuania concerning possible violations during the procurement tenders in the Visaginas NPP project, that he had no information about the problem and that Lithuanian prosecutors were not responsible to the Economy Ministry.
The non-binding referendum last year, where the majority of Lithuanian voters voted against the construction of the Visaginas NPP, proves that not enough had been done to provide people with all information they should have received, therefore many Lithuanians doubt if the new power plant is necessary. This is also a problem that still has to be solved, said Neverovich.
Commenting on Lithuania’s energy strategy, the minister emphasized that the country’s main principles and goals remained the same - diversification of supplies and Lithuania’s integration in European networks. He added, however, that he considered the strategy not rational enough. o