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Lithuania upset over soon-to-open Belarus nuke plant


The Baltic nation of Lithuania has sent a protest note to Belarus over a planned nuclear power plant close to their shared border that is to start operating in November

VILNIUS, Lithuania — The Baltic nation of Lithuania sent a protest note Tuesday to Belarus over a planned nuclear power plant close to their border that is scheduled to start operating in early November.

The Astravyets nuclear power plant, 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital, is to start production between Nov. 1-10, Belarusian operator Belenergo told Lithuania’s power transmission system operator Litgrid on Monday.

“We are categorically against such a hasty launch,” said Asta Skaisgiryte, an adviser to the Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda. She confirmed the note had been sent.

During the construction of Astravyets, which has been plagued by accidents, stolen materials and the mistreatment of workers, Lithuania voiced its concern over the plant, which is being financed and constructed by Russia nuclear giant Rosatom.

In recent weeks, Lithuanian residents living near the Belarus border have been supplied with free iodine pills and evacuation drills have been held. The pills, which can help reduce radiation build-up in the thyroid, are in case of a radiation leak at Astravets.

Lithuania closed its sole nuclear power plant in 2009 and has forbidden the purchase of energy from Belarus.



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2020-10-27 07:36:36

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