France’s interests might have impeded extension of Lithuania’s N-plant lifespan
France’s interests to support the recovery of European nuclear energy sector, which has the sole reactor producer – France’s Areva, might have been one of the obstacles to Lithuania’s intentions to extend the lifespan of Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP), which is considered unsafe by the West, by at least several years, Lithuanian government’s nuclear negotiator Aleksandras Abišala admits to the BNS.
“Areva or not Areva… But there are actually no other nuclear reactor producers in the European Union,” Abisala, who was in charge of talks with the European Commission (EC) on the extension of INPP operations, Abišala said to BNS.
The team representing Lithuania failed to immediately understand one of the main reasons behind the EC opposition to the extension of INPP lifespan, which was one of the reasons of Vilnius’ failure in those talks, he noted.
As Abišala noted to the BNS “I think it is one of my biggest mistakes…I failed to understand immediately what are the main reasons of opposition, that the French are actually the main source. We always hoped and it seemed that with France holding the rotating presidency we could find an agreement since it is a nuclear state. The main reason was reluctance to harm the reputation of reviving nuclear energy”.
Areva is one of the potential suppliers of reactors to the nuclear facility, which Lithuania plans to build in Visaginas.