Lithuanians support referendum rejecting plans to build new nuclear reactors

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The citizens of Lithuania have sent a message to government leaders after having passed a referendum which rejects a €5 billion plan to construct a new nuclear power plant.  The public support for the nuclear new build fell off sharply after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.

Nearly two-thirds (62.7 percent) of the nation of 3 million voted against the project, leaving only 33 percent in favor.

U.S.-Japanese joint venture Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy (the same companies which helped to build the Fukushima Daiichi plant) were lined up to build the new nuclear plant on the site of the two shut down Soviet nuclear reactors at Ignalina (which are the same light-water, graphite-moderated design as at Chernobyl).

Ignalina 1 came online in December 1983, and was closed in 2004.  Ignalia 2 came online in August 1987, and was shut down in 2009.  Public support for nuclear power in Lithuania used to be strong.  In 2008, 78 percent of voters supported a referendum which would have kept Ignalina 2 in service.

Source: Reuters

Source: NHK

Source: Yahoo News

Source: The National

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