Lithuania urges EU Commission for more nuclear decommissioning financial backing

13/11/2017 15:39 Nuclear

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Lithuania is in the process of decommissioning a Soviet-era nuclear plant Ignalina and its energy minister discussed last week with EU Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger about allocating more financial aid after 2020.

Ignalina nuclear plant is considered too unsafe to function within the bloc, therefore after obtaining the EU Membership, Lithuania decided to close it, which is an EU target as well. 


The project to shut down the plant already collected €1.5 billion as part of the budget up to 2020. The Lithuanian government has agreed on allocating 14% of the financial means necessary for the closure. The shutdown of the plant is expected at 2038 and to fulfill this target they need another € 1.5 billion.


During a visit to Vilnius on November 2, EU Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger met Žygimantas Vaičiūnas, Lithuanian Energy Minister, to talk about the backing after 2020. 


The last one declared “EU support is crucial, and we simply do not have any other alternatives. We all understand that the decommissioning of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant and management of the spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste would be too much of a financial burden for Lithuania alone.”


A European Court of Auditors report from 2016 warned that the closure of former Soviet reactors in the EU is excessing the budget and behind schedule. Ignalina was expected to stop its activity by 2029, after it ended electricity generation in 2004.The report also emphasized that Lithuania was wasting EU money on persons responsible of maintaining rather than decommissioning the plant.

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