A new study on the strategic development of the Lithuanian energy sector does not bring clarity, at least for now, on whether or not the country needs a nuclear power plant.
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

Speaking to reporters after the Lithuanian Energy Institute presented the study to him, Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius said that the paper envisaged options with and without a nuclear power plant, but did not say which option would be better for Lithuania.

Meanwhile, a scientist from the institute is sceptical about building a new nuclear facility.

"This study currently envisages several options and I think the study will be further presented to the Energy Ministry, experts and the general public. And then we will be able to make decisions on which path is the right one," the prime minister told reporters.

As to when the decisions about the nuclear power plant might be made, Butkevičius said: "I think work on the nuclear power plant is going on in parallel. This is a project that has to cover several states. The Energy Ministry is working with Hitachi. Also, discussions with Latvia have started, because approvals from the partners are needed."

Arvydas Galinis, chief research associate at the Lithuanian Energy Institute, told reporters that a nuclear power plant could not ensure cheap electricity. It would ensure energy security, but there remains a probability of accidents, he said.

In July, the Energy Ministry and Japan's Hitachi signed a memorandum of understanding for joint actions to establish an interim project company for the Visaginas nuclear power plant project. Latvia and Estonia were invited to join the venture.

Last year, Lithuania presented a joint position of three Baltic energy companies and Hitachi that the Visaginas project, launched by the country's previous government, could be substantially improved. It was said that the Baltic companies and the Japanese corporation had reviewed the details of the project and found things to improve it, while some issues remained open.

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