Lithuania’s Move to Nuclear a Blow to Gazprom

In a little-noticed news item last week, Lithuania announced that it will re-open talks with its fellow Baltic states and Hitachi to open a nuclear plant outside of Visaginas. As Bloomberg-Businessweek notes:

Lithuania, which isn’t connected to European Union energy grids, relies on imports of Russian power and gas, particularly since closing the Soviet-built Ignalina nuclear plant in 2009. The Cabinet, which took office in December, must propose an energy-independence strategy to Parliament by May 15.

The plant as proposed is outside of Lithuania’s post-2008 budget, but with the assistance of Latvia and Estonia — especially Estonia — the plant may offer an opportunity to further break Russia’s energy stranglehold on the region.

Energy security is one of the underappreciated issues of our time. As energy demands grow and as so-called alternative power sources continue to languish against the laws of physics, nuclear energy remains the one proven, relatively clean way to escape all of the entanglements of hydrocarbons. Credit to Vilnius for understanding this.

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