Petras Vaida, BC, Vilnius,
The probable construction of a nuclear power plant in dictatorial Belarus causes concern of the neighboring countries. Lithuania stands against NPP construction in Belarus, which will be built a little more than 55 km from Vilnius, LETA/Charter 97 reports.
As Polskie Radio reports, experts suppose that selection of the Belarusian NPP location (Astravets, the Hrodna region) is not an occasion, as it is a place where the borders of Poland, Lithuania, the Russian Kaliningrad Oblast and Belarus meet.
Experts from Russia, Ukraine, and Austria think Belarus hasn't analyzed the plant's effect on the environment. Belarus neighbours are concerned about selection of possible design engineers and builders. Iran is named among potential builders of nuclear reactor. According to observers, this increases the risk and decrease confidence of the international community to Belarus's initiative.
As Gazeta Wyborcza notes, under the international law, Belarus is obliged to discuss an issue of the NPP construction with its neighbours. However, experience shows that objections do not lead to abandonment of the project implementation. For example, the Czech Republic built a nuclear plant in Temelin contrary to Austria's position.
Experts doubt if Lithuania will succeed in blocking the nuclear power plant construction.
"The NPP is a political project supported by the Belarusian leadership. The plant won't be built only if no finance is found," politologist Valer Karbalevich told in an interview to Gazeta Wyborcza.
"The Polish general direction of environment continues consultations with Belarus. However, the National Atomic Energy Agency sees no problems in the NPP location," agency representative Stanislaw Latek noted.
We remind that fours states, Russia, Belarus, Lithuania, and Poland, plan to construct nuclear power plants in the Baltic region. Vilnius thinks in case of an accident at the Belarusian NPP 80% of Lithuania will be contaminated and Vilnius will be destroyed. Building an NPP in Belarus was called "genocide of the Lithuanians" at the public hearing in Lithuania.
In early April, Minsk announced the plant in Belarus can be built by French AREVA. Experts from Regnum news agency note that this company is know for its recent failures of a range of similar projects in Europe, and wasn't selected for the tender for 20 reactors in the United Arab Emirates.