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Riigikogu prepares to decide on future of nuclear energy in Estonia

The Riigikogu takes the first steps to affirm the use of nuclear energy in Estonia. It is likely to approve the decision, which will serve as the foundation for drafting a new nuclear law within three years.

Since there is no nuclear energy in Estonia, the Riigikogu must adopt a decision that will allow the preparation and legalization of its use. The Riigikogu postponed the first reading of this decision from Tuesday to Wednesday.

“This is a long-term decision that could have a very significant impact on energy in Estonia in 15 to 20 years, and in the long term, say 100 years and beyond. /…/ We are not deciding if someone needs, wants, or is capable of building a nuclear power plant, where it will be built, or which type of power plant it will be. It is just a kind of preliminary decision whether nuclear power will ever be a consideration in Estonia,” said Igor Taro, the chair of the Riigikogu’s environment committee.

If the Riigikogu gives the go-ahead for nuclear power, the government will draft a nuclear energy law within three years. Whether a nuclear power plant will be built in 11 years will depend on its necessity, Taro said. And if it is not built yet, the decision on electricity generation will have to be made one way or the other in a few decades.

The nuclear draft submitted by 55 members of the Riigikogu and so it is expected to be adopted.

The Social Democrats are opposed to nuclear energy for which a so-called soft mandate by a general Riigikogu decision is now sought, according to SDE fraction leader Priit Lomp.

“Estonia does not necessarily need to become a nuclear state, and we can overcome our energy problems by using renewable energy and external connections and storage,” Lomp said.

Various stakeholders and experts were given the opportunity to give their views on nuclear energy at a public hearing of the Riigokogu environment committee on Tuesday.

“The position of the Estonian Green Movement is that given our capabilities, our resources, Estonia has better solutions than nuclear energy. /…/ We have to look very seriously at the question of nuclear waste, e.g., how much is there, how can it be managed, and how much it will cost. And the most uncomfortable question: What happens in the event of an accident?” Madis Vasser, a member of the board of the organization, said.

Source: ERR News