An action plan to protect against the Astravets Nuclear Power Plant, which has been deemed to be a threat to national security, environment and public

2017 09 13
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The Government of the Republic of Lithuania has approved an action plan of security measures necessary to protect the country from the unsafe nuclear power plant being built in Belarus (Astravets NPP) posed threats. The action plan was prepared by the Ministry of Energy. 

“It is Lithuania’s vital interest to protect itself against the threat to national security, environment and public posed by the Astravets NPP. The action plan is first and foremost focused on security measures at the regional level. However, what we have to do at the national level in protecting the interests of our country and its people is also clear,” says Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas. 

With such close vicinity of Astravets NPP to the Lithuanian capital, the potential threats of this nuclear power plant can not be justified by any means. Therefore it is necessary to ensure that in the event that the Astravets NPP is put into operation, no electricity from Belarus would be able to enter the Lithuanian power market from the very start of its operation.

The plan stipulates that efforts will be made to agree with other countries in the region on applying common principles regulating access for electricity from third countries into the market by the beginning of 2019 in the event that Astravets NPP would become operational.

Meanwhile, together with Estonia and Latvia efforts will be made to establish a dynamic fee for cross-border electricity transmission from third countries by mid-2018. A similar fee is already applied in Finland. 

Other security measures are related with the reduction of technical capacities for cross-border electricity flows from Belarus, such as: reorganisation and optimisation of the north-eastern Lithuanian electricity transmission network; reduction of the inter-system throughput capacity between the Lithuanian and Belarusian power systems; installation of a new overhead power line between Vilnius and the Lithuanian Power Plant in Elektrėnai, as well as construction of the Vilnius–Naujoji Vilnia–Neris overhead power line. Part of the preparatory work for these projects is already under way and will soon gain momentum.

It should be noted that application of these security measures against development of the unsafe Astravets NPP is relevant until synchronisation of the Lithuanian power system with the grid of Continental Europe is completed. Lithuania is actively pursuing the conclusion of a regional agreement by the beginning of 2018 on synchronisation with the grid of Continental Europe via Poland, since this scenario could be implemented  most fastest and effective way.

It is foreseen that, after the Lithuania will join the European grid, no possibilities will be left for electricity from third countries to enter the Lithuanian power system.

In June, the Seimas recognised, by law, that the Astravets NPP poses a threat to national security, the environment and public health.