Threat posed by Astravas Nuclear Power Plant discussed with foreign diplomats2017-05-26
On organising a briefing today for foreign ambassadors on the Lithuanian-Belarusian border in Buivydžiai, a site from which the Astravas Nuclear Power Plant is visible, Minister of Environment Kęstutis Navickas has invited them to get actively involved in the discussion of problems related to the safety of this nuclear plant in accordance with the Espoo Convention. “You can make a very substantial contribution to ensuring that the international environmental and nuclear safety requirements are understood not just as declarations but as rules that are really in effect when implementing nuclear energy projects”, said the Minister.
The foreign diplomats could see with their own eyes this rising nuclear facility that is a mere 20 km from Lithuania, and also from the external EU border, from a hill in Varapniškės.
According to Kęstutis Navickas, the Astravas Nuclear Power Plant is being built in breach of the international nuclear safety and environmental standards. The issues of great concern include the serious incidents occurring on its construction site, the low work culture, the inadequate competence and experience of the authority supervising the nuclear safety and the builders, as well as continuous public opinion manipulations in Belarus and the neighbouring countries.
As was stressed by Seimas Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis attending the briefing, the position of Lithuania on the Astravas Nuclear Power Plant is of principle and clear, meaning that the construction works must be suspended. This geopolitical project ungrounded from an economic perspective is posting a threat to national security. Therefore in February the parliamentary parties of Lithuania signed an agreement on joint actions concerning the issues of the unsafe Astravas Nuclear Power Plant. Moreover, on 20 April a law was passed by the Seimas unilaterally that bans the entry of electricity generated in unsafe third country power plants into the Lithuanian market. The provisions of this law will also apply to the Astravas Nuclear Power Plant.
In two weeks, on 13-16 June, Minsk will host a meeting of the parties to the Espoo Convention to continue discussions on the matter of the Astravas Nuclear Power Plant. According to the Lithuanian politicians who participated in the briefing, Lithuania expects the EU to demonstrate solidarity at the meeting and express a uniform approach towards the construction of this nuclear power plant.