Shut-down at Ignalina causes jitters but no danger

Publish date: November 9, 2007

NEW YORK - Lithuania's Soviet-built nuclear power station was shut down on Thursday due to an electrical malfunction but there was no danger of any radiation, officials told Reuters.

The Ignalina nuclear plant has the same type of reactors as those which caused the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, though Lithuania says its plant was made safer. It shut one reactor after joining the European Union and the other is due to be closed in 2009.

"There is no danger," said Andrius Baltuska, a civil protection official with Utenos district in eastern Lithuania, home to the power plant, according to Rueters.

He said a short circuit had shut down a generator, which had closed the whole plant.

News portal Delf quoted Valdis Arbaciauskas, head of Ignalina’s supply department, as saying that there had been no change in radiation levels and that the plant was likely to be closed for up to three days.

Lithuania has agreed to close the Ignalina plant under the terms of its entry to the European Union. Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland are considering building a new plant to decrease their energy dependency on Russia.