Lithuania needs new nuclear plant, but not at any cost
Lithuania needs a new atomic power station in order to prevent an economic crash in the next decade, as it faces an energy crunch after the planned shutdown of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP) in late 2009, SEB Vilniaus Bankas analysts said.
As the BNS reported speculation about the closure of the second block of the Ignalina plant is still rife, but the chances that the country will continue to generate nuclear power after 2010 are diminishing, the analysts said in their latest Lithuanian Macroeconomic Review report.
“If we were left without nuclear energy, at the start of the next decade the Lithuanian energy system would be in a dramatic situation and would be fully dependent on Russia’s policies and its good will,” said Gitanas Nauseda, advisor to the president of SEB Vilniaus Bankas.
The analyst said that the planned power links with Poland and Sweden would not protect Lithuania from energy shortages.
“Based on realistic estimates, the construction of these energy connections may last until 2015. While demand for electricity worldwide and in neighboring countries is expected to increase, no supply surplus is predicted. Even in Russia, an absolute decrease in installed power plant capacity is anticipated in the coming years. Therefore, import does not seem to be a reliable source of electricity supply,” he said.
Experts point out that a nuclear power station would provide Lithuania with higher energy independence for at least 30 to 40 years.
SEB Vilniaus Bankas’ analysts said in the report that the main drawback of nuclear power plants is that they require huge initial investments.