After several accidents, notes of protest of the Lithuanian government, of numerous publications in the independent media, and public anger head of Belarus spoke on the issue of construction of the nuclear power plant in Astravets.
According to Lukashenka, he voiced the proposition of cheap electricity from nuclear power plant to the Lithuanian Ambassador to Belarus Evaldas Ignatavičius before the end of the diplomatic service of the latter. Lithuania, however, is not in a hurry to rush into the arms of the official Minsk after this statement.
“Belarus, which violates the basic international requirements, will not have the confidence and should not rely on the sale of electricity from the hazardous nuclear power plant,” said the Linas Linkevičius.
In the light of recent information from the construction site, the position of Vilnius looks consistent and resolute. Since the beginning of the year, there have been three accidents in Astravets. The latest accident happened on July 10, when the reactor vessel dropped from a height of about 2-4 meters.
Ordinary Lithuanians are worried
The public received an official comment from the government only 2 weeks after the incident. According to the Ministry of Energy, the installation of the reactor body was immediately suspended. Belarusian expert group is to determine the future fate of the damaged structure. But the neighbors demand that an international commission received access to the construction site.
“The facility needs to have a serious oversight, but it should be done by international organizations not by the Belarusian side,” said a resident of Vilnius.
“How many kilometers are from Astraviets to Vilnius? It is incredible,” said an indignant local resident.
Vilnius is 57 kilometers from Astravets, while the Belarusian capital is 150. The protest voice is also heard in Belarus — United Civil Party and the Belarusian anti-nuclear Committee, composed of scientists and environmental activists, demanded that construction be stopped.
Georgy Lepin: The NPP will not pay off!
According to Professor Lepin, there are almost no high level experts in Belarus. Economic feasibility of the project is also under question.
“Expert calculations show that Belarus does not need so much power, it will be without demand. Furthermore, Lithuania is now switching to the co-ordination of its grid with the European Union, and this means that it will be unable to sell and will not want to sell Belarus electricity to them,” said Alyaksandr Dabravolsky, a member of the United Civil Party, deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the 12th convocation.
Russia has rejected similar project
Belarusian nuclear power plant, as well as the plant in Kaliningrad, were parts of the Russia’s plan for energy dominance in the Baltic region.
“As soon as Russia realized that it would have no one to trade with, they immediately stopped the construction of the Kaliningrad plant. But we continue. Why?” said Georgy Lepin.
According to Prof. Lepin, one of the reasons may be stubbornness of Lukashenka who regrets the lost nuclear status. But the problem is that the desire to have nuclear energy as soon as possible jeopardizes the security of millions of people both in Belarus and abroad.
Tania Reut, Belsat