Astrvayets nuclear plant will be built despite Lithuania’s protests – expert

Vidmantas Jankauskas
DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

Holding rallies against Astravyets Nuclear Power Plant and threatening boycotts on Belarusian electricity is too late, a Lithuanian expert says. The facility just 50 kilometres from Vilnius will be built and Lithuania should focus on making sure it is as safe as possible.

“It is certainly too late [to stop Astravyets Nuclear Power Plant from being completed],” says Professor Vidmantas Jankauskas of Vilnius Gediminas Technnical University. “Block one is almost finished. The thing to focus on now is its safety.”

In an interview to LRT Radio, Jankauskas says that talks by Lithuanian politicians about stopping the facility’s construction and boycotting electricity from Belarus is populism plain and simple.

“If we close our eyes and say, ‘We are not buying your product’, they will still produce it. Instead we should work to have international experts [at the construction site], to have Lithuanian experts present and monitoring the construction,” he adds.

The new plant in Belarus will not be any less secure than any other nuclear facility. “It is not a nuclear bomb, as some may thing. These are Russian-made reactors. In fact, Russian reactors are used in Finland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia. Sure, there are potential hazards and we must do all we can to minimize the dangers. That is, we must be involved, aide and monitor that everything is safe,” Jankauskas says.

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