Energy Vice-Minister: Declaratory and selective attitude to nuclear safety should not be tolerated


2019 09 17


In a speech delivered at the 63rd IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) General Conference on September 17 in Vienna, Lithuanian Vice-Minister of Energy Lina Sabaitienė drew the attention of the international community to the fact that participation in the stress tests of new nuclear power plants and the drafting of stress test recommendations hardly contribute to the enhancement of nuclear safety if these recommendations are not implemented.

“The stress tests carried out by the EU are an important contribution to the strengthening of nuclear safety. However, only the timely implementation of stress test recommendations in nuclear power plants could enhance nuclear safety”, pointed out Ms Sabaitienė. In her speech, the vice-minister urged to immediately implement stress test measures in practice.

Lithuania also called on to improve the mechanism for carrying out IAEA missions to encourage the states that join the nuclear energy community to use IAEA missions and implement their recommendations. Lithuania drew the attention of the international community to the periodically recorded radionuclide emissions over Europe – not a single state have admitted to emitting   radionuclides.

The vice-minister took part in the plenary meeting of the IAEA General Conference which addressed the issues of developing nuclear energy and nuclear safety assurance. In the framework of the general conference, the Lithuanian delegation participated in bilateral meetings with the European Commission and the representatives of the USA, the EU and acting director general of the IAEA Cornel Feruta. The meetings discussed issues related to the decommissioning of the Ignalina NPP and the safety of a nuclear power plant built in Astravyets, close to the EU border.

As part of the IAEA General Conference,  the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Lithuania under to the International Organizations in Vienna, the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Lithuania held a side-line meeting, with the participation of  Ms Sabaitienė, ambassador Aurimas Taurantas, director Kristina Werner and the representative of the Ignalina NPP  A. Jermalevas,  to present the short version of the documentary play “Žalia pievelė” (directed by Jonas Tertelis and Kristina Werner) of the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre. The play in a non-traditional way highlights the problematic complexity of the decommissioning of the Ignalina NPP – its financial, environmental and social aspects.

Lithuania has been a member of the IAEA since 1993. The main task of this agency which was founded by the United Nations Organisation is to promote the safe use of nuclear technologies for peaceful purposes. IAEA general conferences are annual meetings organised to discuss and approve the IAEA programme and budget. Decisions on other important issues, which may be raised by the board of governors, the director general or member states, are also discussed at a general conference.