Lithuania's new liberal-right cabinet wants absolute blockade of Belarus NPP

By bne IntelliNews December 7, 2020

Lithuania's new liberal-right government said on December 7 it is aiming to speed up the project for synchronising the electricity grid with the Continental European system and is attempting to reach a “100% blockade” of Belarus' Astravyets nuclear power plant (NPP), according to its draft programme unveiled on December 7.

Ecohome (Ekodom), a Belarusian environmental NGO, reported on November 30 that a tank of the emergency cooling system at Astravyets was damaged and imploded “due to an unopened valve”.

This followed an earlier incident when a transformer exploded outside the reactor just days after the plant became operational. The Belarusian authorities previously told the NGO that no incident had taken place, but then backtracked, saying that it had.

The Astravyets NPP stopped generating electricity on November 8, less than a week after it was launched on November 3.

"We should withstand pressure and not only bar access for electricity generated by it [the plant] to our market, but also minimise access to our energy system… We will ensure that electricity from the Astravyets NPP does not enter the Lithuanian market either directly or indirectly and that our consumers do not pay for it," the new Lithuanian government’s document reads.

The programme aims to ultimately achieve an "absolute blockade of the Astravyets NPP [in Lithuania] and strive for it on the EU scale".

The incoming Lithuania government will adhere to the position that the power plant should not operate because it is unsafe and that Lithuania cannot buy electricity from Belarus.

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