New start for Lithuanian nuclear

02 June 2011

Lithuania's new nuclear build plans have sprung back into life with the announcement of two proposals from reactor vendors. 


The country has longstanding plans to replace the Ignalina power plant, which used two large Soviet-era reactors to power most of the Baltic States region. These units closed as part of Lithuania's accession agreement with the European Union and the country has been keen to replace them.


A previous replacement plan failed at the end of last year when one submission did not meet specifications and the only other, from a South Korean consortium, was subsequently withdrawn.


Now an announcement has come from the energy ministry concerning "competitive proposals from potential strategic investors" in the new nuclear power plant, dubbed Visaginas. The proposals were listed as coming from Westinghouse and Hitachi-GE, but no details were revealed by any of the participants.


The energy minister, Andrej Sekmokas, said the project is "at a very mature stage" and talks on the proposals would now start with the other Baltic States partners, Estonia, Latvia and Poland. A winning proposal should be selected in coming months said Sekmokas.


Having operated the Ignalina units between 1983 and 2009, Lithuania has substantial experience in nuclear energy and a large ready workforce. It also already has the adjacent Visaginas site complete with a major grid connection and environmental approval for new nuclear build.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News