Lukashenka Returns to Project for Building of Nuclear Power Station in Belarus
On Friday Aliaksandr Lukashenka said he supported an estimated $2.5-billion project to build a nuclear power plant in the country to cut its dependence on energy imports.
Belarusian scientists drafted a plan for the NPP in May but no final decision followed. The plant with generating capacity of 2,000 megawatts would take about 10 years to build and is expected to reduce Belarusian dependence on Russia`s energy by 24%.
’Belarusian scientists and experts ... have unanimously approved the resolution to build an NPP in the country and to begin all necessary arrangements this year,’ Lukashenka said at an energy security conference.
Belarus currently imports most of its energy from Russia. The two countries are in tense talks over the gas price for next year. Russia is seeking to quadruple the current price of $46.68 per 1,000 cubic meters.
A.Lukashenka said his latest talks with the Russian leadership concerned a possible hydrocarbon deficit and nuclear plants were the best way to overcome a global energy crisis. ’Nuclear energy is widely used in Europe. About 80% of France`s electricity is generated at nuclear plants,’ he added.
Experts said the share of nuclear power in Belarus` energy balance could rise to 20%, and the share of natural gas could decline to 50% by 2020 if the project was implemented. By 2050, the plant could bring the share of nuclear power to 85%.
Lukashenka said a location for the plant would be carefully selected to avoid any risks to human health.
It’s worth reminding that Belarus was one of the worst-hit areas in the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl NPP disaster.