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Kallas glad nuclear energy debate back on track

Kaja Kallas.
Kaja Kallas. Source: Jürgen Randma / Office of the Riigikogu

On Monday, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said before the Riigikogu that she was not against nuclear energy. However, Kallas added that the decision to construct a nuclear power plant in Estonia would be taken on the basis of a report by the national working group on nuclear energy.

"Based on the information that I have, I am not in any way against nuclear energy. I think nuclear energy has very clear advantages, but it also has very clear disadvantages," Kallas said in response to a question from Lauri Laats, a member of the Center Party's Riigikogu group, on whether the prime minister was in favor of the construction of a nuclear power plant in Estonia.

"In the sense that there has to be a popular consensus on this, I think that is absolutely correct," the prime minister added.

Kallas said the report is ready, but the government is yet to discuss it. "That [discussion] is planned for either this week or next week," Kallas said.

According to Kallas, the options and risks related to the introduction of nuclear energy were also discussed during the coalition talks.

"We had a serious discussion. We have slightly different views on it. And that's why we agreed that if this report says the introduction of nuclear energy is reasonable, necessary and fits into Estonia's energy plan, so to speak, then we will make the corresponding decisions. We will do so on the basis of this report," Kallas said.

Kallas recalled the Reform Party had been in favor of the introduction of nuclear energy to Estonia ten years ago. However, the accident at Fukushima in Japan put the brakes on that debate within society.

"I am glad that this debate is back on track. All in all, we have to weigh up the pros and cons, and then the Riigikogu will decide whether to say yes or no," Kallas said.

At the end of December, Ministry of Climate's press service announced that, according to the conclusions of the final report of the national working group, nuclear energy would provide further support in addition to renewable energy.

Therefore, the group recommends the construction of a nuclear power plant in Estonia. This would support Estonia's climate objectives, security of supply and the stability of its energy systems.

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Editor: Michael Cole

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