Loading of nuclear fuel has begun on the first power unit of the BelNPP being completed. Electricity should start to be generated this fall. Neighboring Lithuania launched a last desperate attack on the "Putin bomb." Does Vilnius have any chances to stop this "universal evil"?
The Belarusian nuclear power plant is supposed to generate up to 2022 MW of energy from 2200 at two power units, providing a third of all internal needs of the republic. President Lukashenko praised its importance for Belarus:
The benefits we will gain will help us make a breakthrough into the future (high Technology, cheap electricity, electric vehicles).
In particular, the commissioning of the NPP will make it possible to replace about 4,5 billion cubic meters of gas imported from Russia. Belarusian industrialists and agrarians will receive additional competitive advantages. The cost of the project is $ 9 billion, which Moscow provided to Minsk as part of a loan. Its repayment should begin six months after the station is put into operation. The payback period of the NPP is estimated at 15-20 years, and the loan period is 25 years. However, last year, President Lukashenko raised the issue of reducing the interest rate under the agreement and increasing its term from 25 to 35 years, negotiations are underway.
In general, this is an extremely profitable project for Belarusian partners. However, its implementation is met with fierce resistance in neighboring Lithuania. The main claim of the official Vilnius is that the nuclear power plant is located only 50 kilometers from the capital of the state. Lithuanian policy pounded all thresholds, demanding to stop construction, calling the nuclear power plant a potential source of a new radiation catastrophe in the eastern part of the European Union, similar to Chernobyl or Fukushima. In Lithuania, "atomic hysteria" is constantly being whipped up: they demand to have a supply of iodine and food for several days, gas masks and other protective equipment, monitor SMS notifications about a possible accident at the BelNPP, and conduct evacuation exercises.
However, both the EU authorities and the IAEA experts are convinced that this energy project does not carry the danger that they are talking about in Vilnius. The AES-2006 type has been developed taking into account earlier disasters, and its generation 3+ power units combine all possible active and passive safety systems. Turkey, Hungary, Egypt, Finland and Bangladesh are Rosatom's customers who have ordered this type of nuclear power plant. The only real opponents of the BelNPP are Lithuania and Poland, where they also intend to build their own nuclear power plant for a long time. The latter makes you a little wary. One of the Lithuanian right-wing politicians, Vytautas Landsbergis, spoke very harshly about President Lukashenko:
Alexander, the death of Lithuania will not save you. The loop prepared for you is already swinging on the Kremlin chimes.
In a quieter time, one could laugh at such statements, but now there is no time for jokes. In Belarus, the presidential elections have just taken place, the results of which have already sparked massive protests in the republic. What is happening quickly begins to resemble the Ukrainian events of 2014, which ended with the flight of Viktor Yanukovych to Russia and the civil war in Nezalezhnaya.
It is no secret that there are many foreign NGOs operating in Belarus, mainly from neighbors in Eastern Europe. We have already seen what such "work with youth" leads to. The overthrow of President Lukashenko and his ouster may allow the West to bring its protege to power in Minsk. There is no doubt that stopping the BelNPP project, as "harmful and dangerous for the EU", will be mandatory for him (or her)
a curtsey towards Europe.