After the European Commission decided the closure of Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) requires far less money than promised, Lithuania could restart its nuclear reactors, TV3′s show Week’s Commentaries reported on Sunday. Officials acknowledge that the second power unit could resume work, but it would cost hundreds of millions and damage relations with Brussels, delfi.lt wrote on 9 January.
Deputy Minister of Energy Arvydas Darulis says that the second unit of Ignalina NPP has not yet been dismantled, so it could resume operation. Žilvinas Jurkša, the director of the NPP, confirmed such a possibility, adding that it would cost a lot of money. The launch of the reactor could also result in sanctions against the country.
Relaunch of the reactor would cost hundreds of millions
MP and former Minister of Economy Kestutis Daukša holds the opportunity to relaunch the second unit of Ignalina NPP as a “great chance”. It would then be possible to refuse the costly project of the new NPP. The politician emphasizes that legally the second block is not closed but stopped, thus the legal obstacles to the renewal of its work are almost non-existent.
This was also confirmed by the Deputy Minister of Energy A. Darulis.
“Demolition work of the second unit haven’t been started. Once again, I want to emphasize that currently only decommissioning works of the first block are being carried out. But this is not some sort of reactor deconstruction or something else, because Ignalina NPP has an operating license”, — he said.
According to Ž. Jurkša, there are the technical feasibility of resuming the second unit, yet the financial capability is another issue.
“It is possible to have everything done. The question is, how long it would take and how much money ir would take. It would certainly cost hundreds of millions. (…) and really there’s no talking about tens of millions”, — stated General Manager of the NPP.
Mr. Auštrevičius – Brussels can appeal against Lithuania, Lithuania can do the same
Meanwhile, former chief euro-negotiator, MP Petras Auštrevičius, stresses that such a move could cost Lithuania not only money. Purportedly, it is possible Brussels could sue Lithuania and not only stop the financing of the NPP closure, but also try to recover the money that have already been allocated. Yet former euro-negotiator sees opportunity to litigate with the EU on the failed promises.
“I believe that an appeal to the EU Court of Justice is also not to be excluded. You have to defend your position and interests to the utmost”, — contemplated P. Auštrevičius.
DELFI notes that Brussels is intending to allocate 210 million euros to the Ignalina NPP closure in 2014-2017, while Lithuania has applied for more than four time larger support. The Government still hopes to receive more European funds for the NPP closure, but negotiations with the European Commission are not progressing.