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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Tiny Estonia could go nuclear, sees oil shale hope

Estonia, one of the smallest European Union countries, is considering its own nuclear power plant and wants to use its experience of producing power from oil shale in other countries, the state energy company said.
Estonia is the world's most dependent country on oil shale, producing 90 percent of its power from the sedimentary rock, though it is one of the most polluting of fossil fuels.
Estonia accounts for 70 percent of the world's processed oil shale, though large deposits are also found in the United States and other countries like Australia, Brazil and Jordan.
"If we look further to increase CO2-free power in general we are looking at the possibility to enter nuclear power generation," said Estonian Energy chief executive Sandor Liive.
"If we are talking about nuclear then in the longer term, I would not exclude Estonia. But this is very definitely a long-term project," he added in an interview on Tuesday.
Estonia has been in talks with Latvia, Lithuania and Poland jointly to build a new nuclear power station in Lithuania.
It is also considering whether to take part in Finland's planned sixth nuclear power plant.
"I think the Lithuanian and Finnish projects are ones that could happen during the next 10 years," Liive said.
Estonia going it alone would take much longer.
"If we take the horizon of 2055 then I would not rule out nuclear power generation in Estonia. But our thinking is in a very early stage," he said.
"It is very clear that we have to reduce the C02 intensity in our power generation portfolio," he added.
(read more)
(Source: Guardian)

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