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Published: 7 september 2012 10:28

Lithuania has not received Russia's answers about safety of nuclear power plant in Kaliningrad

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Juliaus Kalinsko / 15min nuotr. / .
Lithuania's Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that Russia has failed to provide answers as to why it decided to build a nuclear power plant in Kaliningrad just 11 kilometers from the Lithuanian border, and has also failed to carry out seismic research.

The ministry said in a statement on Friday that it would be possible to move to the second stage – public hearings in Lithuania – only upon receiving answers to key questions.

According to the ministry, Russia has not explained why this particular location within 11 kilometers from the Lithuanian border was chosen for the project. Alternative locations have not been considered and the selection criteria are unknown, the ministry added.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also said Russia has not explained why seismic research at the location has not been carried out. A document provided by Russia is based on a tectonic fault map dated 1983. The country says the environmental impact assessment was based on a seismic hazardousness map of 1999, but an earthquake instrumentally-recorded in 2004 was stronger than stipulated in the map.

Lithuania also expects answers as to how cooling of the nuclear facility will be ensured. There are plans to use water from the River Nemunas for cooling, and the distance between the plant and the planned water source is 10-12 kilometers.

According to the ministry, no reserve water storages have been considered and no calculations on its sufficiency in case of an emergency have been provided.

Russia has not explained why the project has not been subjected to safety testing based on the methodology agreed by the EU and third countries, the ministry points out.

According to the ministry, Lithuania has officially asked Russia 14 times over the last three years to provide answers to these and other questions during the first stage of consideration of the environmental impact assessment in Lithuania but has not received answers to key questions.

The Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also concerned about another project by the same Russian company, Rosatom, namely, Astraviets nuclear power plant in Belarus. Lithuania is concerned about the hastiness of the project and statements that the construction costs of both nuclear facilities will be the lowest in history.

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