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Lithuania and NPP (nuclear power plant): like a dog in the manger.

The accident at Japanese NPP Fukushima-1 has returned the nuclear power industry on the global agenda for a long time. Now, not only professionals gossip about it, but also those, who had no interest in it before at all. The topics range is extremely wide: from the problems of the sarcophagus building by the Chernobyl type to the idea of waiving the nuclear power industry in principle. And as it turned out that, generally, it concerns not only Fukushima... Lithuania has announced that it disagrees decidedly with the situation when Russia and Belarus have decided to build nuclear power plants near the borders of this republic.

In far as is concerned Russia, then Lithuania is not satisfied by our country's intention to build a nuclear power plant in the Kaliningrad region. As a matter of fact, Russia has already passed a lot of documents to Lithuanian, but, as usual, our Baltic neighbor is not satisfied by something continually.
“Rosatom” intends to build in Kaliningrad region two units with total capacity of 2300 megawatts. Their commissioning is supposed, in 2016 and 2018, respectively. What Lithuanians are not satisfied with?

The note says that Russian specialists evaluate inadequately the issues, related to the impact of the Baltic NPP on the environment. The Deputy Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Evaldas Ignataviиius has stated: “We expressed our position that we will not accept the NPP building that does not meet all safety requirements. The Russian side replied that in their opinion, it meets all requirements. At that the story was over. “Particularly the Lithuanian side is concerned by both its densely populated surrounding areas and the possible radioactive contamination of the Neman and the Baltic Sea coast as it turned out. And the essence is narrowed down to the fact that Lithuania needs documents as to the following: how NPP can affect the environment and the conceptualization of the site criterion, as well as the technologies, used by the Russian side.

There are more Lithuanian objections to Belarus side, which intends to build a nuclear power plant on the Ostrovetskaya site that is about 55 kilometers from Vilnius. The station that is in the Grodno region also will consist of two units, with total capacity of 2.4 thousand megawatts. The deadlines are the same - 2016 - 2018.

Everyone in Lithuania is not satisfied by the decision of Belarus. On the one hand the community is indignant – It has already collected 22,000 signatures against NPP building in the Byelorussia territory. And in the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident, the march against the NPP building in Russia and Belarus is planned. The motto is: “The threats from each nuclear power plant are the same - each NPP can be like Fukushima” (!?). Based on this logic, the Lithuanians have to go through thick and thin and they must throw the slogan: “The threats from each kitchen knife the same - each knife can be like the murder weapon”...

On the other hand - the Lithuanian authorities also do not choose the expressions. So the Byelorussia place choice for NPP was named by the Foreign Minister Audronius Aћubalis directly as provocation! Here's what he said literally: “There are the packages of measures that can undertake Lithuania for the transparent situation, so that the Byelorussia site, planned for the building has been removed from the Lithuanian border, which we can name as provocation only”.


What is with the site there in fact? What is not satisfying Lithuanian side? It's probably the best option to contact the experts - but not to those, who are engaged in the public relations actions, and to those ones, who are associated with nuclear power industry directly.
The following was explained by Andrey Rykov, director of “BelNIPIenergoproma”, in his interview for the “Lithuanian courier”: “How was the site chosen? It was according to multistage system across the republic. It was determined more than seventy, suitable sites for building. As a result, they left the following three: Krasnopolyanskaya in Chausskiy district, Kukshinovskaya in Shklovskiy district of Mogilev region and Ostrovetskaya. Everywhere the research works were conducted: geological, geophysical, hydrological, aerometeorological and others. At this stage, Byelorussia has worked closely with the Kiev “Atom EnergoProekt” institute and IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) commissions. By the way, the IAEA representatives noted the significant scope of fulfilled works, and stated that the criterion that Byelorussia submits the request as to the sites, are the most stringent ones in the practice of this authoritative international organization.

It has been found that on the first two sites, at the depth of 25 - 40 meters and below there are the wet chalk deposits. We have conducted the additional researches, and turn for the consultations to the IAEA. The general consensus is the following: it is not prohibited factor, but the complicating one. And in recognition of how the technogenic waters will behave on the site, because every station has technogenic irrigations, they took decision to stay on the Ostrovetskiy site. The additional reconnaissance and additional researches were conducted there.

With relation to the equipment. The formal proposals were sent to U.S., Russia and France. U.S. did not respond. France furnished its participation with very serious political and financial conditions. Russia and China with has not yet tested the second generation reactor that is being built in Pakistan have expressed a desire to cooperate.
“Rosatom” has proposed the unit upon the NPP-2006 project, which has the following direct predecessors - the Leningradskaya NPP-2, Novovoronezhskaya NPP and Chinese plant in Tianwan. The first two will be built before the Belarusian plant and they will serve as locomotives for it. It is the logic of our decisions”.

Byelorussia is intended to recover the new NPP in 20 years. Moreover according to statement of the representative of the Department of Energy, Nicholas Grusha, the NPP will become the safest in the world because to be exact, in Russia at present time the most stringent security requirements are indented. By the way, the NPP building project has been adjusted to take into account the “Fukushima” incident. The Chief Engineer of “NPP building management” state company, Anatoly Bondar, stated that “Atomenergoproekt” has analyzed the situation and made several amendments in the draft of NPP building in Byelorussia.

The logic, as we can see, is quite understandable. But only for those, who really would want to get outside of existent situation that can not do easy. As a matter of fact Lithuania itself together with Latvia and Estonia is going to build the new nuclear power plant - in Visaginas. But before the reflections on the future, it is necessary to talk about the past. The NPP has already been in Lithuania and it has acted for 26 years and one day: the Ignalinskaya NPP was acting from 1983 to 2009. In addition two units were also built, but in 1989, the building of the third one that was made of 70 percent was stopped because of the economic difficulties. Then the construction was taken to pieces, and its parts were sold in future. Lithuania wanted very much to be in united Europe and the EU stated that the Ignalinskaya NPP should be closed. No sooner said than done: the first power generating unit was taken out of the operation in 2005, and the second one, as it already was mentioned before, on 31 December 2009.
Instead, the NPP that Lithuania has inherited from the Soviet Union, it was made decision to build a new, and probably, according to the project concept, much more perfect “European” NPP. But somehow suddenly Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have begun to argue and they have not made any agreement as to the matter, up to now.

Fukushima also has made some allowances. In the last March days, the Company “PriceConsulting”, through the request of “Vyaydas” weekly report, conducted the survey of the residents of the country large cities, to find out their opinions concerning the necessity of new NPP building. The results make someone sit up and take notice: before 44% thought that Lithuania is needed NPP, and 47% ones did not see any necessity in it. Now, just over 10% of the respondents think that Lithuania needs a new NPP, while 88% pronounced against it. It is characteristically that more than 40% of them had changed their opinion just after the accident at Japanese nuclear plant "Fukushima-1".

So, what is happening? Its NPP Lithuania has shut down, and there is any success to build a new NPP with its neighbors, and the following neighbors - Russia and Byelorussia - are going to build nuclear power stations near the Lithuanian border. And we can see very unpleasant thing - who needs the electricity that will be produced at the plant in Visaginas, of course, if it will be built? The hope was just for the fact that the neighbors will buy the electric power, and they hurried to power themselves...

In such a situation it is necessary to explain to both their citizens and the world that really everything is not bad, and possibly Russia and Belarus are not going to build the nuclear power plants in reality. And all the statements on the part of them are not more than politics...
The head of the Energy Institute, Academician Jurgis Vilemas has let have it straight, “it is unknown, whether the present-day statements are only the way to attract investors or the mode to make angry Lithuania”. But at the same time he added that generally speaking, in order to build its own NPP, we need serious money. According to his version, the investments in new NPP on the part Lithuania can range from 8 to 16 billion litas. Today, it is obviously that the state does not have such money, so it is necessary to look for investors. But it is not the fact that such ones will be found. From here the academic concludes: "If there are not any the investors and buyers – it will be vain endeavours”.

Last fall, at the press conference in Parliament, some politicians (among them - the leader of the Christian folk party –R. Karbauskis and parliamentarian A. Baura) have recognized that now Lithuania does not have any powers to build NPP, which will be cheaper than in neighboring countries. In fact, according their opinion, people are told that after the building of new NPP the electricity will be cheaper, but it is lie: “Lithuania did not pay for the building of the Ignalinskaya NPP and its closing is financed by the European Union. It will not happen again ...”


The Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius has decided to frighten both Russia and Belarus, saying that the Baltic countries will prepare the legislation prohibiting the purchase of the electricity, generated by NPP that do not meet international safety standards. So here the politics is! The main thing: it is necessary to be independent from Russia, or at least to live this thought. So the decision to build a nuclear power plant is made, while in Europe the same countries of similar scale and economics size quietly buy energy from their neighbors or – it is frightful to think of - from Russia.

Not all in Lithuania do not see beyond their own “independent nose”. There are persons, who understand that having the friendly relationship, in which prevails mutually beneficial economic ties but not only politics, is much more useful than regularly to spoil the atmosphere of bilateral relations by means of frivolous statements. The politics, in contrast to the economy will not feed people.

Probably it is possible to build NPP, somehow, but what do with it further? We can talk about it at same protest action, where indignant, but enlightened “new Europeans” will angrily protest against the decisions of Russia and Belarus to build the nuclear power plants in their own territory. And this is a further thing: in both Russia and Belarus everyone understands why the nuclear power plants should be built, and who namely will buy the energy. On second thoughts, perhaps, the fact of the matter is that some political circles in Lithuania have the Russian chronic allergic with sequellae...

 

Viewed : 2080   Commented: 4

Author: Владимир Кузменкин

Publication date : 20 August 2011 17:48

Source: The world and we

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