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04 October 2022, 11:25

Opinion: Lithuanian authorities are unwilling to admit their mistakes

Nikolai Shchekin. Photo from a personal archive
Nikolai Shchekin. Photo from a personal archive

MINSK, 4 October (BelTA) – The Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant is a time bomb, BelTA learned from Nikolai Shchekin, Head of the Sociology of Public Administration Department at the Sociology Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.

“The issue of energy security has recently been thrown into the international spotlight. By the way, a number of former Soviet Union republics, like Lithuania, Ukraine, unfortunately, treated their nuclear legacy at least irresponsibly or with cowardice. Thus, one of the conditions for Lithuania's entry into the European Union was to shut down the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant that was designed and built using advanced technology of that time. Being at beck and call of the Brussels bureaucracy, the Lithuanian leaders deprived their people of the future. By the way, Aleksandr Lukashenko warned about this back in the 1990s when he raised security issues,” Nikolai Shchekin said.

The words of the Belarusian president were vindicated later on, the political scientist stated. “Careless attitude to the operation of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant more than once led to technical failures that could literally blow up the whole of Europe. Thus, the IAEA documented leaks of spent nuclear fuel into the atmosphere. At the same time, the Lithuanian authorities do not want to admit their mistakes. Moreover, the website of the nuclear power plant tells about some mythical successes. We should admit that Belarus, like the whole of Europe, is now on a powder keg. In this context, the problem is how to properly dispose of a great number of radioactive graphite. Its ongoing disposal violates all technological requirements. Indeed, there are no disposal technologies in world. Yet, mindless dismantling of graphite cases and turning them into powder is a direct path to a disaster,” he said.

“However, the worst thing is that there is no clear plan for the dismantling of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant. Some elements and fuel will be removed. But there is no money for many other dismantling operations. There is a possibility that they will not do anything else, which will become a time bomb and a real threat, including for Belarus. I believe it is necessary to raise this issue with all respective international organizations. I think that civil society, deputies should draw attention of the international community to the numerous violations of the nuclear safety treaties by the Lithuanian side. They should raise awareness of the serious problem with the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant. During the construction of the Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant, Lithuania poured a lot of dirt on our country and told lies personally about our head of state. However, the BelNPP is one of the safest and most advanced nuclear power plants. The planning, design and construction of the plant were very transparent; Belarus did not hide anything. This and the very construction of the BelNPP caused envy and aggression on the part of both Lithuania and Poland and the entire collective West, which saw serious competition in the Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant,” the expert said.

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