Lithuania to hold referendum on NPP already next week
Lithuania will hold a referendum on whether to build the Visaginas nuclear energy plant when voters go to the polls on 14 October to elect members of Parliament. Meanwhile, Bulgarians will probably vote on the future of its Belene nuclear station before the end of the year.
Lithuanian voters will be asked to support or reject the following statement: "I support the construction of a new nuclear power plant in the Republic of Lithuania."
In July, the Lithuanian parliament decided that the referendum on Visaginas would be held alongside the elections, to cut electoral costs improve voter turnout. At least half of the voters must cast their vote for the referendum result to be validated.
The incumbent centre-right government of Andrius Kubilius is strongly committed to building the power plant.
President Dalia Grybauskaitė said the referendum is an opportunity for the electorate to be consulted on an important decision. "It's an obligation for the government to make an in-depth presentation of the project to the public," said a presidential statement quoted by the Lithuania Tribune.
If approved, the new nuclear power plant is expected to be completed within a decade. It would replace the Soviet-built Ignalina nuclear station (see background) and is to be build next to the site.
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Is the Ukrainian gas transit route still a risk? Will the construction of the South Stream pipeline further reduce the importance of Ukraine as a transit country? Or is there more at stake here than meets the eye? Julian Wieczorkiewicz and Arno Behrens from the Centre for European Policy Studies are looking for answers.
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In this issue of the Weekly analytical report: - How Europe builds its energy policy towards Russia; - How will Ukraine answer to Russian gas pressure; - How Europe will support green energy; - What Ukraine lacks for successful energy efficiency policy; - How Ukrainian and European approaches towards shale gas development differ; - Does business still hold influence on state energy policy; - What will diversification of nuclear energy supplies will look like.