Viru-Nigula municipality mayor: Nuclear plant questions will be answered

Einar Vallbaum.
Einar Vallbaum. Source: Sergei Stepanov/ERR

Viru-Nigula Municipality Mayor Einar Vallbaum said on the "Vikerhommik" morning program that representatives of nuclear plant developer Fermi Energia promised to keep the locals in the loop quarterly and organize monthly trips to an operational nuclear plant in Finland.

Representatives of Fermi Energia that is looking to build a nuclear plant in Estonia and Viru-Nigula (Lääne-Viru County) locals met on Thursday evening, with around 40 people in attendance, Vallbaum said. "The atmosphere was calm. There were many questions to which answers were provided, and we agreed to meet again in the future," he added.

Vallbaum remarked that Fermi Energia apologized for confusion created when a different property than the plant's planned location at Letipea was initially discussed.

"The neighboring plot that was the initial choice proved too low," the municipality mayor clarified.

People's questions concerned what could happen to real estate prices in the area, as well as noise, light pollution and whether the seawater might become overheated.

"They were practical questions to which Fermi Energia gave expert answers," Vallbaum said.

The locals learned of soon-to-start [geological and environmental] surveys via the press and drew up a protest letter as they find Letipea is a popular natural and biodiverse habitat in need of better protection.

"The village of Letipea has never before been publicly discussed or written about as a possible site for the proposed nuclear power station," wrote Letipea resident Enno Tammer, who is one of the locals backing the appeal.

"Now, however, it seems that the developers of the nuclear power plant, Fermi Energia, are promoting Letipea as the only possible location (for the power station) both in the media and their communications with the authorities," he found, adding that the news had the effect of a cold shower on local people.

Einar Vallbaum said that while Tammer sent the municipality government a letter with a number of questions, he was not present for the Thursday meeting. "He is someone who rises like a Baltic Sea storm one day and calms down the next," Vallbaum described, rushing to add that he considers Tammer a good man.

Meetings between Fermi Energia and the locals will take place quarterly, with the Kunda Museum to host a nuclear plant information room from January 1. "Those who wish can go to Finland to visit a nuclear plant, with Fermi Energia willing to cover the travel expenses of 15 people every month," Vallbaum said.

The municipality mayor remarked that he cannot make any promises until Estonia has made a decision (in terms of whether to construct a nuclear power plant at all – ed.) but added that it would greatly benefit the municipality and its development. "More educated young people would move here. Energy-intensive industry would move to the area as production facilities inside six kilometers from the plant would be exempt from the transmission fee," Vallbaum said.

Fermi Energia will launch environmental surveys in Letipea next week.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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