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Lithuania urges EU to secure necessary funding for dismantling of Ignalina NPP reactors
Last Updated: 2018-07-18 08:00 | Xinhua
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Lithuania seeks to receive "all necessary" funding for dismantling reactors of Ignalina nuclear power plant (NPP) in order to secure that the works would not be interrupted between the EU's two multiannual funding periods, Zygimantas Vaiciunas, Lithuania's minister of energy, said on Tuesday.

"It coincides that the designing and dismantling stages will take place from 2023 to 2033, that's why it is crucially important to secure all the necessary funding before the start of the new EU multiannual programme and to avoid the dangerous prolongation of budget discussions," Vaiciunas was quoted as saying by local media.

In his words, the European Commission has announced its financial proposal regarding Ignalina NPP closure for the next EU's multiannual financial perspective through 2027. However, Lithuania's position is to "secure all the necessary funding before the start of dismantling of reactors," Vaiciunas said.

According to Vaiciunas, dismantling will be the "peak stage" of all Ignalina's NPP decommissioning project.

"As these works start, we can not stop them," Vaiciunas underlined.

He was speaking at a joint press conference with Rebecca Harms, the rapporteur for funding of Ignalina's NPP decommissioning at the European Parliament.

"It is European Commission which decided that the plant should be decommissioned in order to increase nuclear safety in the region. Technical problems as regards the EU budget are quite frequent, they are serious, however, given the needs that the NPP is facing, I am ready to communicate with representatives of Lithuania, European Commission and European Bank of Reconstruction and Development in order to continue the process," Harms said at the press conference.

She added that it is unanimously agreed by the international institutions that the decommissioning of Ignalina NPP is "well-managed, the process is transparent, professional and complies with all standards."

Lithuania is asking 780 million euros for the NPP shutdown in 2021-2027. Meanwhile, only 552 million euros are allocated in the next EU budget at the moment.

The EU has already allocated around 1.3 billion euros for the Ignalina plant decommissioning since 2007.

Lithuania agreed to shut down the Ignalina NPP as part of its accession agreement to the EU in 2004 as the Soviet era reactors were judged to be unsafe to operate within the European bloc. The plant should be fully offline by 2038.

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