EU freezes funds to dismantle Lithuanian reactor over operator row
An ongoing row over the decommissioning of a Soviet-era nuclear reactor in Lithuania has led to the suspension of EU funds aimed at supporting the project, the bloc's executive said Thursday, dpa reported.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) had decided to freeze money intended to build spent fuel storage and buy storage casks needed to dismantle the Ignalina reactor in eastern Lithuania, the European Commission said in a statement.
The decision was taken because the plant's operator and the project organizers "have not managed to settle their dispute - now ongoing for more than two years - on how to implement the project concretely," the commission wrote.
"The commission now hopes that the suspension will accelerate the settlement," it added. "If however no agreement is found, the money may still be used for other purposes."
Lithuania agreed to dismantle the Ignalina nuclear power plant as a condition to join the EU. In return, the bloc offered to cover 1.37 billion euros (1.78 billion dollars), or almost half of the total decommissioning cost.