Discussions on further EU funding for Ignalina NPP decommissioning continue in Brussels

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2017 11 10

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The Lithuanian Energy Vice-Minister Simonas Šatūnas has visited Brussels this week. He continued consultations with the officials of the European Commission (EC) and the members of the European Parliament (EP) concerning further EU funding for the decommissioning works of Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (NPP).

In Brussels, Mr Šatūnas met with the chairman of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Jerzy Buzek and the member of the Committee Claude Turmes as well as the representatives of the EP's Committee on Budgets, the members of the EP from Germany, Finland, and Spain.

During the meetings, the members of the EP were acquainted with the progress of the decommissioning of Ignalina NPP and the achievements of the recent years as well as the further process of the decommissioning. Mr Šatūnas also outlined the need of funds for the decommissioning of Ignalina NPP after 2020.

“To fulfil our obligations, we follow the specific plans which envisage a mechanism for the completion of the decommissioning of Ignalina NPP and the management of spent fuel and radioactive waste by 2038. By implementing this European project, Lithuania seeks to guarantee the rights of EU citizens to live in a secure environment. Besides, this project will allow us to acquire new competences which we may apply later in the implementation of the nuclear power plant decommissioning projects of other countries,” pointed out Mr Šatūnas.

The members of the EP were also informed about the actions taken by Lithuania to protect the interests of the state and people from an unsafe nuclear power plant which is being built in Astravets, Belarus as well as Lithuania’s decision not to purchase electricity generated by unsafe nuclear power plants of third countries.

“We cannot be unconcerned when we see a nuclear power plant emerging very close to Lithuania. Even if the Belarussian nuclear power plant passed the so-called stress tests, it would still pose a threat to Lithuania due to its close proximity. When choosing a location for its nuclear power plant, Belarus violated all international requirements. Lithuania calls for the adoption of a common EU policy prohibiting the purchase of electricity generated by unsafe nuclear power plants of third countries. The events taking place in the Baltic region show that this policy is vital to protect the interests of the states and it must be consolidated by adopting certain EU legislation,” emphasised Mr Šatūnas.

The members of the EP have congratulated Lithuania for becoming the first EU country which reached an agreement with Luxembourg on statistical transfers of renewable energy amounts.

“We have proved that the possibility of statistical transfers envisaged in EU legislation can be realised in practice. We are glad that Estonia followed Lithuania’s example this week,” stated Mr Šatūnas.