Lithuania PM vows to build new nuclear power plant

VILNIUS, September 7 (RIA Novosti) - Lithuania's prime minister said Thursday a new nuclear power plant would be built in the republic to replace a Soviet-era station that will be closed on the European Commission's request.

The current nuclear power plant at Ignalina, scheduled to be shut down by 2009, is similar to the one in Chernobyl, Ukraine, where the world's worst nuclear accident happened in 1986. The three former Soviet Baltic republics earlier agreed to build a new nuclear power plant to resolve an energy crisis expected in 2009 and meet the European Union's nuclear safety requirements.

"Today I am already convinced that this project will be implemented," Gediminas Kirkilas said in an interview with the Lithuanian radio station Zinios.

Kirkilas said he had discussed the issue with Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski and the head of Czech power utility CEZ, Martin Roman.

In addition to CEZ, E.ON Nordic, the Swedish division of E.ON, and France's nuclear reactor producer Areva have also displayed interest in the project.

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