It's getting better
Monday, 22 December 2003
Organized by Lithuanian Government Expert Group under the guidance of professor Jonas Gilis said “yes” to nuclear energy in Lithuania in future.

November 25, 2003 during Seimas Committee on Ignalina NPP Region hearings the preliminary report of Task Force under professor J.Gilis direction was examined. According to the Group plan this report had to be presented by December 1, 2003. So they did it. After the presentation the document shall be sent to the Ministry of Economy that shall make its presentation and discussion in Seimas.

This document underlined “Annotation of preliminary results of investigations in possibility of prolongation of nuclear energy in Lithuania”. It is quite compact and takes only two and half pages. It contents cover financial and economic aspects of the task without consideration of the technical points. What conclusions do Lithuanian experts make after 11 hearings on the live issue?

“Ignalina NPP shutdown was defined by political motives, but the construction of a new reactor or a plant shall be defined by their competitiveness within Lithuanian and international energy market”. It was the postulate of the researchers who presented a great number of telling arguments in support of their position. The data differ in many respects from those presented in the National Strategy on Energy. For instance, the authors of the research opposed to those of the strategy are not so optimistic, but are likely on the contrary to perspectives of natural gas energy in Lithuania. These are just some of the arguments presented in the report. “By this time it was considered that natural gas price would annually not rise to more than 0.9 percent and in 2000 – 2020 it will grow on 18 percent only. But international documents analysis shows that the rise in price could be 80 – 85 percent during this period. Therefore, connection of the energy sector to gas and monopolization of this fuel source is a high risk”. (Comment: In fact the price of natural gas will rise on 20 percent in 2004 as it known at the moment). “Ignalina NPP shutdown will cause 1 kWatt-hour prime cost rise to 5-6 cents. And market price will rise from 6.2 to 12 cents for 1 kWatt-hour”. “In assumption the Lithuanian economic will shift into low gear in 2015 we will come across the lack of energy power of about 310 MW, on condition of the rapid growth it will be 794 MW, and the overgrowth – 1239 MW” (in fact it will be the lack of one unit of the power plant).

Taking into account some advantageous conditions for nuclear energy development (namely, if evaluated cost of one kW-hour will be less then 1500 USD; the construction of a new nuclear plant will take no more than 4 years; the construction of a new reactor will take from 22 to 48 months; bank interest for credit will not exceed 10 percent; natural gas price will grow faster then estimated, i.e. by 3-4 percent per year), the experts come to the conclusion: “Early shutdown of Ignalina NPP will have negative influence on the economy of Lithuania. A new nuclear plant financially has more competitive abilities and economically has more benefits then a gas station”.

Besides financial and economical aspects of nuclear energetic perspective in Lithuania experts take into consideration technical questions during their hearings, i.e. INPP reconstruction possibilities or a new plant building.