Lithuania’s attempts to shut down the Astravets nuclear power plant in Belarus are an attempt to get moral compensation for the closed Ignalina nuclear power plant, given to Lithuania for nothing when the Soviet Union broke down, and for the scandalous failure of the Visaginas nuclear power plant project – a topic that is taboo in Lithuania.
Lithuania opposes construction of the Astravets Nuclear power Plant (NPP) as the project does not comply with the international standards of environmental protection, and is built on the site that was not duly justified over the alternative ones.
On 7 June 2011, Lithuania lodged a complaint with the Implementing Committee of the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment (the Espoo Convention) on the Astravets nuclear power plant case. The February 2019 draft decision of the Meeting of the Parties of the Espoo Convention acknowledged that Belarus had failed to comply with some Convention provisions and encouraged Belarus and Lithuania to continue bilateral expert consultations.
In her State of the Nation Address on June 11th, 2019, President Dalia Grybauskaitė, called to continue efforts for the complete shutdown of the Astravets NPP, stating: "Espoo Convention countries have concluded that [Astravets nuclear power plant] stands on an unsafe site. This is not about the safety of the plant – this is about its unsafe site. It means that no power station can operate there, and efforts to close the Astravets nuclear power plant must continue."
Following the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, the EU decided that so-called High Power Channel Type Reactors (RBMK) and other first-generation Soviet-designed nuclear reactors would need to be shut down. At the time of its accession to the EU Lithuania agreed to shut down the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant, which was built with the RBMK reactor.
In 2012 Lithuania conducted a consultative referendum on the construction of the new nuclear power plant in Visaginas, east of the capital Vilnius. 62.7% of voters were against the project.
For more disinformation cases on the Astravets nuclear power plant see here.