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Lithuania to ask Belarus to convert nuclear power plant to gas

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According to Reuters, Saulius Skvernelis, the Lithuanian Prime Minister, is set to ask Belarus to convert its nuclear power plant to gas, which would be provided by Lithuania’s LNG terminal and a planned link between Lithuania and Poland.

The Russian-built power plant is nearly complete and, according to Reuters, has been seen as a threat to Lithuanian safety and national security. Lithuania claims that this is because the facility has not been constructed to the highest safety standards. Reuters reports that this allegation has been refuted by Belarus.

Astravets is close to the Lithuanian border and is under construction by Russia’s Atomstroyexport. Reportedly, it is being financed with a US$10 billion loan from Moscow, and the first of its two 1.2 GW VVER 1200 reactors will be online this year, with the next one scheduled to come online next year.

According to Reuters, Skvernelis has stated that approximately 60% of the facility’s infrastructure could be used for the proposed gas-powered facility.

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