Belarus’ first nuclear power plant began operating Tuesday, a project that has caused jitters in neighboring Lithuania, which immediately cut off electricity imports from the Belarusian plant. The Russian-built Ostrovets nuclear power station, 40 kilometers south of the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, has been connected to Belarus’ power grid and has started producing electricity, according to Belarusian electricity operator Belenergo in comments carried by the state news agency BelTA. Lithuanian authorities long have opposed the plant’s construction, arguing that the $11 billion project has been plagued by accidents, stolen materials and the mistreatment of workers. In keeping with the Vilnius’ new law banning electricity imports from Belarus once the plant starts, Lithuania’s Litgrid power operator cut the inflow of electricity from Belarus upon receiving data that the Belarusian nuclear reactor had started producing energy, the Associated Press reported. Neighboring Latvia said it had also blocked imports of energy generated at the plant and vowed not to purchase Russian electricity if Moscow was unable to prove imports did not originate from the Belarusian plant.
Bellona 4th Nov 2020 read more »