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Wednesday, 22.02.2017, 01:34
Securing funds for Lithuanian N-plant closure to require huge efforts
In the minister's words, much discussion with the European Commission will be needed following the European Court of Auditors (ECA)' critical report on the Ignalina decommissioning.
Lithuania has a legal basis for receiving such funding, because the nuclear power plant was shut down as a condition of its EU membership, but there will be much discussion on what form it should take, Vaiciunas said in an interview with the business paper.
"In principle, the proposal consists of two parts. The first part means that there should be greater national co-financing. The second part (...) is that if there is no separate budget line for the decommissioning, other alternative forms of EU support should be sought," the minister said.
"In the ECA's opinion, a separate budget line is not the best form. The ECA's findings are not binding, but are important politically and technically to the Commission," he said.
As a condition for joining the EU, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Slovakia had to commit themselves to closing eight Soviet-built nuclear reactors in three plants, an immense financial burden for the nations. Therefore, the EU agreed in 1999 to finance the decommissioning. The EU's assistance will total 3.8 bln euros by 2020, with Lithuania getting most of the money.
The Ignalina plant decommissioning program is being financed using EU aid, international and national support funds, state budget funds and other sources.