Friday, January 20, 2006

Nuclear matters warm up 

Meanwhile in the wider world – where LibDems intend to fight the Tories on the Nuclear Energy question – there are political shifts that do not improve our position.

It is likely that plans will come forwards for a new Nuclear Power Station in Lithuania, with the backing of the EU Energy commissioner. This will involve a private company in Nuclear Power construction for the first time in decades.

One factor is the perceived need to be independent of Russian bullying tactics, as noted in a previous post of mine. The neglect of this fear so far by western European countries will not improve chances of arguing in east Europe against the Baltics nuclear developments. Note that Piebalgs, the EU Energy Commissioner, is from Latvia. I think we need to co-ordinate our UK political action with our MEPs here.

I show below an agency report before it disappears behind a firewall.

Of course going ahead with an European Nuclear plant is a great beginning for anyone trying to persuade Iran to build new Nuclear power stations, but that consideration would be a bit too much like joined-up thinking…

Repost from Lithuanian Agency ELTA begins:

Vilnius, Jan 17 (ELTA) - The construction of a nuclear reactor in Lithuania
will be considered at an international seminar to be held in Vilnius. At
this forum, ministers of the Baltic states intend to sign an agreement
concerning the intentions of the Baltic states to build a nuclear reactor in

The international seminar entitled "Development of Electrical Energy Markets
and Assurance of Energy Supply Reliability in the Baltic Sea Region" will be
held on 26-27 January by the Ministry of Economy in conjunction with the
company Lietuvos Energija.

The Latvian, Estonian, and Polish ministers responsible for energy, European
Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, representatives of the European
Commission Directorate-General for Energy and Transport, and representatives
of energy companies, regulatory bodies, and consumer associations from
Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Sweden have been invited to
the seminar.

In the judgment of the Ministry of the Economy, achievements and future
challenges in the energy sector, the supply and safety of energy sources in
the Baltic states, common energy policy in the Baltic region, and the energy
markets of certain states, are some of the topics that will be discussed at
the international forum.

ELTA has already announced that Piebalgs is encouraging more nuclear power
plants to be built. "Europe has to erect more nuclear power plants if it
wants to avoid ever increasing uncertainty in the oil and gas markets," he

The commissioner stated that one third of the energy we use is now produced
by nuclear power plants. In his opinion, this is a considerable amount that
should not be allowed to decrease.

Source: Vilnius ELTA WWW-Text in English 1236 GMT 17 Jan 2006

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