Latvian environmentalists oppose plans for Lithuanian nuclear plant
Sep 3, 2007, 13:59 GMT
Daugavpils, Latvia - For a group of Latvian environmentalists nuclear power is not the answer to the Baltic region's dependence on Russian sources of energy.
The Latvian Green Movement opposes the country's participation in the construction of the new Ignalina power plant in Lithuania, which, they say, is expensive and could cause serious harm to the environment.
The group staged a protest on Monday in Daugavpils, a Latvian city 25 kilometres from the Lithuanian border, located in the impact zone of the nuclear project.
'We believe we ought to pursue alternative sources of energy,' Alda Ozola-Matule told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.
EU members Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia plan to build a new reactor in the Lithuanian town of Ignalina to ensure continued power supplies for the region after the existing Soviet-era plant shuts down in 2009.
Poland also plans to join in the project, which is expected to cost anywhere between 2.5 and 4 billion euros (4 to 5.4 billion dollars).
While the plans haven't yet become a reality, they have already faced some controversy.
Lithuania wants to control a larger 34 per cent stake in the future Ignalina nuclear power station. The other Baltic region partners in the venture, Estonia, Latvia and Poland, would each hold a 22 per cent stake.
Unhappy over the prospect of a smaller share and reduced capability to meet its considerable energy needs, Poland has not yet made a final decision on whether to participate in the project.
At the same time, some political forces in Estonia suggested putting the country's participation in the project to a referendum.
The construction of a so-called 'power bridge' hooking up the electrical power grids of the Baltic states with Poland and Sweden is central to the project.© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur