Updated at 13:48,15-08-2017

Nuclear bomb of Astravets

Yaraslau Stseshyk, Belsat

Lithuania will never accept electricity from the Astravets NPP. The relevant resolution was adopted by the Lithuanian Seimas parliament of the neighboring country in connection with the possible danger from the nuclear power plant, which is being constructed 50 km from Vilnius.


English subtitles

Lithuanian MPs have called on the government to take all necessary diplomatic, legal and technical measures to halt construction in Astravets. The government is to submit a plan of concrete actions in this direction by June 1.

LINAS BALSYS, CHAIRMAN OF THE LITHUANIAN GREEN PARTY
This is a political signal that we want to send across Europe and also to Belarus that we do not believe that this can be a secure project.

It is not only about the proximity of reactors to Vilnius. Lithuania is strongly concerned with information published on the Belsat.eu page about the April incident at a construction site when the stand of the nuclear power plant maintenance building collapsed. According to the builder who sent pictures the reason lies with poor-quality concrete, and it is not the only such case.

At first, the Belarusian side denied this information, then the incident was acknowledged and the Belarus Energy Minister Vadzim Zakreuski invited the Lithuanian Ambassador to the NPP construction site. He refused to come, as the safety of such facilities should be evaluated by experts, not diplomats.

GEDIMINAS KIRKILAS, SEIMAS DEPUTY SPEAKER
Our Ministry of Environment and others, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs raised the issue in Brussels and in the international institutions responsible for the safety of nuclear power plants.


Today, the Lithuanian Seimas appealed to the President to raise the Astravets NPP issue at the EU heads of state summit. Vilnius said that the Belarusian authorities either simply do not respond to formal requests about Astravets or respond in the way that the Lithuanians do not know whether to laugh or cry. Thus, a report on the impact of the new NPP on the environment sent by the official Minsk had been made using Google-Translate an automatic computer translation program.

GEDIMINAS KIRKILAS, SEIMAS DEPUTY SPEAKER
We want Belarusian authorities to be open, so that we knew what the situation is and what we should do in the event of an accident, for example, because Vilnius is located in the evacuation zone. It has a certain influence not only on the well-being of people, but also on the possible arrival of foreign investment.

Lithuanians are not only protesting against the Astravets NPP, but they are also ready to share with Belarus a recipe of their success technologies and renewable energy investors.

LINAS BALSYS, CHAIRMANN OF THE LITHUANIAN GREEN PARTY:
In Lithuania we want to start a dialogue, so that during this neighborly dialogue we could find other alternatives for Belarus, apart from nuclear power plant.
The Baltic countries will not buy electricity from Astravets also because they are switching from the Soviet BRELL power system to the European parameters. So who will we be selling electricity from Astravets to?


LEANID ZAIKA, ECONOMIST, HEAD OF THE STRATEGY ANALYTICAL CENTER
It is an absolutely useless thing. Today, the nuclear power plant project in Astravets is neither economical nor export viable.

Perhaps there is a political goal.

LEANID ZAIKA, ECONOMIST, HEAD OF THE STRATEGY ANALYTICAL CENTER
The only sense of it many people have written about it is to use nuclear power for the production of weapons-grade nuclear materials that can be used to build an atomic bomb. According to economists, if construction of the Astravets NPP is stopped today, the cost of the process would be smaller than that borne once it starts working.