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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Andrus Ansip: Estonia should have its own nuclear power plant

Prime Minister Andrus Ansip admitted that valuable time has been lost with the project of the new nuclear power plant in Ignalina, writes EPL Online.

Ansip stated at the Reform Party’s conference on economy that he wishes that a nuclear power plant be established in Estonia. “I think that Estonia should have its own nuclear power plant,” said the Prime Minister. Thus far he has rather supported Estonia getting stable nuclear energy supplies by participating in the project of the new Ignalina nuclear power plant planned to be established in Lithuania. Now Ansip admitted that focussing on the Ignalina plant has been a waste of time.

“We have lost a lot of time with the project of establishing Ignalina. It has been three and a half years,” admitted the Prime Minister. He stated that nuclear energy should be present in Estonia’s energy portfolio. “Estonia’s own nuclear power plant should certainly not be an issue on which debates should not take place.”

In his presentation the Prime Minister expressed his conviction that energy is a field of economy that will develop the fastest, despite the global financial and economic crisis. “One of the most certain areas where investments will flow into will be production of energy,” he explained.

Ansip said that Estonia would have enough oil shale for the near future for producing energy, but it is inefficient and will cause too much dependence. “Estonia has enough oil shale for another 30-40 years, but we are too dependent on it. Besides – it would be more profitable to produce oil from oil shale,” he noted.

In terms of security, Ansip stated that it is crucial to accede to the power networks of Western Europe. “Energy security means security for Estonia in a wider sense as well. In near future we will have to accede to the Central European energy network. Before they are constructed, we cannot think about guaranteed energy security in Estonia,” he concluded.

(Source: Baltic Course)


Alexandra Prokopenko said...

This is a clear sign that new nuclear power plant in place of old Ignalina is in question. Estonia is rather small (1 mln population) and energy dependent on its neighbors so far. At the same time, Estonia does not want to rely on Russian energy mainly for political reasons. These principles, however, may cost Estonia a lot.

Anonymous said...

For one thing raising the debt to build the plant will be more costly now. If it costs 3,000$ per kilowatt, and is a 1100 megawatt plant for example it would cost 3.3 billion.

Basically my contention is that countries should go all out building heavy industrial projects when times are good. Even knowing they will probably overbuild and it will get ugly when there is a bust.

But here is the real key. When things pick up again economically they will have all that heavy industry they built in the last boom. Also even in a worst case where they build a nuclear power plant then default on the loans, at the end of the day they still have a shiny new plant in their country.