Most political parties open to nuclear power plant discussions

Riigikogu. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Social Democratic Party (SDE) was the only political party directly against the building of a nuclear power plant in Estonia in the future during a Riigikogu debate on Thursday. The others said thorough analysis is needed before any decisions can be made.

A working group report on the issue will be ready at the end of the year and it will then be possible for members of parliament to start forming opinions on the matter.

Thursday's "Aktuaalne kaamera" asked all parties represented in the Rigiikogu for their opinions.

New Minister of Finance Annely Akkermann (Reform) said the party does not have an opinion yet and pointed out that the analysis was not yet completed.

Isamaa's Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu said the process must be open and the party welcomes the discussion on the subject. A decision can be made once the analysis has been completed, he said.

"We have no barrier or ideological opposition to the introduction of nuclear energy. And I think that it is immature to say yes or no, to build it or not," Reinsalu said.

Estonia definitely needs to discuss switching to nuclear energy, former Minister of Economic Affairs Taavi Aas (Center) said. But he said extensive preliminary work is needed to understand exactly which type of plant could be built.

ERKE is in favor of nuclear energy, Chairman Martin Helme said, adding it will be a long process and the plant must be state-controlled.

"But yes, I think that this is still one of the best solutions for us, which will ensure that we will have cheap electricity in the future as well," he said.

Only SDE dismissed the idea. Minister of Economic Affairs Riina Sikkut (SDE) said the solution does not fit the problem

"Considering the unavailability of the technology in this market, the size of the investment and given the time frame it is possible to talk about nuclear energy production in Estonia, I don't see the point at the moment," she said.

The country needs "local, cheap, low-carbon electricity production" sooner than it would be possible to build a small modular reactor, the minister said.

In general, the political parties think Estonia must be able to generate its own energy in the future.


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Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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