Lithuanian nuclear power plans stalled

Oct. 15, 2012 at 9:23 AM

VILNIUS, Lithuania, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- More than 60 percent of the eligible voters in Lithuania who took part in a referendum rejected a plan for nuclear power, election officials said Monday.

Lithuanian voters last weekend cast their ballots for members of their legislative assembly. Those elections corresponded with a proposal to build a nuclear power plant.

The Central Elections Committee said Monday that 64.8 percent of the voters who took part in the referendum rejected the nuclear power plans, reports Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti.

The project, if completed in the former Soviet republic, could generate as much as 3,400 megawatts of electricity for Lithuania.

Advocacy group Greenpeace said the Lithuanian government was trying to politicize the issue by holding the referendum on the same day as votes for the legislative assembly.

The Russian report states the referendum was non-binding. An election official said it was unclear if the weekend results would be accepted because of low voter turnout.

The Visaginas nuclear power plant, if completed, could generate as much as 3,400 megawatts of electricity for Lithuania. The country depends on electricity generated from fossil fuels and most of those resources are imported from Russia.

The European Commission in June said "the Visaginas project contributes to a sustainable energy mix on national as well as regional level."

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