Lithuania feeling out nuclear build – without Russian help

Publish date: September 23, 2008

Lithuania said on Monday it will choose reactors for a new nuclear power plant from four suppliers, including French and US General Electric, but will exclude Russia’s Atomstroiproekt, the country’s state run nuclear reactor exporter, Reuters reported.

Lithuania aims to build a new nuclear power plant by 2016-2020 in cooperation with neighbouring Latvia, Estonia and Poland, with a tender to supply reactors to be launched in 2010.

"There are four suppliers — U.S.-based General Electric and Westinghouse, Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL) and French Areva," Rymantas Juozaitis, the head of energy group LEO LT, told a news conference.

"All these suppliers work with us, and we work with them," Juozaitis, whose company is leading the project, was quoted by the agency as saying.

Lithuania wants to build a new nuclear power plant to reduce its dependence on energy resources controlled by Moscow, its former Soviet master.

LEO is eyeing capacity of 2,200 megawatts with two reactors, each of 1,100 megawatts. Westinghouse and Areva in cooperation with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are the prime contenders, Juozaitis was quoted as saying by Reuters.