Viewing cable 08VILNIUS1054
Title: CIVIL NUCLEAR TRADE INITIATIVE -- RESPONSES TO

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
08VILNIUS10542008-12-23 07:34:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Vilnius
R 230734Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 3171
INFO EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
NRC WASHDC
DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
UNCLAS VILNIUS 001054 
 
 
WARSAW FOR FCS:JMCCASLIN 
DOC FOR ITA:LMARKOWITZ 
DOE:MAPICELLI 
NRC:BWITTICK AND JRAMSEY 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ENRG TRGY BEXP BTIO LH
SUBJECT: CIVIL NUCLEAR TRADE INITIATIVE -- RESPONSES TO 
QUESTIONS 
 
REF: SECSTATE 127423 
 
¶1.  Below please find Post responses to reftel questions. 
 
Overview of Civil Nuclear Power Program 
--------------------------------------- 
 
¶2.  Lithuania plans to build a replacement nuclear power 
plant (NPP), known as Visaginas, for the currently operating 
Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP) in partnership with 
Estonia, Latvia, and Poland.  Visaginas, named after the town 
nearby, will have a capacity of up to 3400 MW.  Individual 
reactors will not exceed 1300 MW.  The currently operating 
INPP, a Soviet era Chernobyl-style RBMK reactor is due to 
shut down on December 31, 2009. 
 
¶3.  The underlying motivation for the construction of 
Visaginas is energy security via diversification.  Lithuania 
presently receives about 70 percent of its electrical energy 
(approximately 30 percent of its overall energy mix) from the 
INPP.  Once the INPP closes, Lithuania will rely either on 
imported electricity or on natural gas fired plants.  The 
source of most imported electricity and all natural gas for 
the foreseeable future is Russia. 
 
¶4.  Financing for Visaginas has not yet been decided by LEO 
LT, the government controlled national energy holding company 
responsible for the design and construction of Visaginas. 
LEO officials tell us they would like to hear from U.S. 
operators regarding the financing options they are 
considering for new NPPs and about Ex/Im Bank programs for 
which an NPP is eligible.  Post feels LEO would benefit from 
more information on the nuclear infrastructure development 
programs discussed in paragraph 5 of reftel. 
¶5.  The key nuclear decision making government bodies and top 
officials are: 
 
-  Gytis Maksimovas, Head, State Nuclear Power Safety 
Inspectorate (VATESI) 
-  Gintautas Mazeika, CEO, Chairman of the Management Board, 
LEO LT 
-  Darius Montvila, Strategic Project Director, Management 
Board Member, LEO LT 
-  Marius Grinevicius, General Director, Visagino Atomine 
Elecktrine (VAE) 
-  Romas Svedas, Director of Economic Security Policy 
Department, MFA 
-  Arvydas Sekmokas, nominated to become Minister of Energy 
(newly created ministry) 
-  Jurgis Vilemas, Chairman of the Institute Council, 
Lithuanian Energy Institute (often advises the government on 
NPPs) 
 
¶6.  VATESI is Lithuania's nuclear regulatory authority.  Its 
enforcement and inspection powers include setting and 
ensuring adherence to national nuclear safety standards and 
it can suspend operation of the INPP.  VATESI issues licenses 
for operating nuclear installations and assesses their 
safety.  VATESI presently employs 65 people, and plans to 
increase this to 74 by the end of January 2009. 
 
¶7.  Lithuania is a member of the following international 
agreements and conventions related to the safe use of nuclear 
energy; there is no domestic nuclear liability law in 
Lithuania: 
 
-  1963 Vienna Convention on Civil Liability in the Field of 
Nuclear Energy 
-  1988 Joint Protocol Relating to the Application of the 
Vienna Convention and Paris Convention 
-  1968 Convention on the Early Notification of a Nuclear 
Accident 
-  1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons 
-  1994 Convention on Nuclear Safety 
-  Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material 
-  Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty 
-  Convention on Assistance in Case of Nuclear Accident or 
Radiological Emergency 
-  Preliminary agreement with the United States Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission (NRC) 
 
¶8.  The manufacturing base of Lithuania is presently not 
involved in nuclear-related products and services.  U.S. 
nuclear plant producers have said that for other than 
selected components such as a reactor pressure vessel, 
Lithuanian industry could contribute to the construction of a 
 
 
plant.  VAE officials say that Lithuanian industry could 
contribute in the areas of construction, instrumentation, and 
control for a new NPP. 
 
¶9.  Lithuania has a number of qualified operators of the 
present RBMK nuclear power plant.  There is a significant 
engineering, technician, and construction base in Lithuania 
that could be readily converted into a nuclear workforce. 
Vilnius University's Faculty of Physics started a new 
bachelor's program in September 2008 in nuclear reactor 
physics.  It presently has 32 students.  In addition, Kaunas 
Technological University has had a nuclear engineering 
program since 1978.  From 1995 through 2007, this program 
produced 130 nuclear engineering graduates. 
 
Opportunities for U.S. Industry 
------------------------------- 
 
¶10.  Visagino Atomine Elecktrine (VAE), a subdivision of LEO 
LT, plans to begin the tendering process for a replacement 
for the INPP in late 2010.  The tender selection process has 
not been announced, however, but the environmental impact 
assessment and more information about the project can be 
found at http://vae.lt.en.  GE and Westinghouse have 
expressed interest in bidding. 
 
¶11.  VAE is interested in speaking with U.S. NPP operators. 
Plant construction management, reactor sales, fuel cycle 
service provision, plant operations, waste management, and 
logistics all might be opportunities for U.S. firms. 
 
¶12.  The primary companies involved in Lithuania's civil 
nuclear sector are: 
 
-  LEO LT:  the national energy holding company of Lithuania. 
 This firm is 61.7 percent owned by the GOL with the 
remaining 38.3 percent owned by VST, a private firm. 
www.leolt.lt 
-  Visagino Atomine Elektrine (VAE):  A subdivision of LEO, 
responsible for planning and likely constructing the new NPP. 
 http://vae.lt.en 
-  Ignalinos Atomine Elektrine:  An independent firm 
operating the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP), presently 
producing electricity but will shut down on Dec. 31, 2009. 
This firm has no influence on the construction of the new 
NPP, Visaginas, but the INPP might present decommissioning 
business opportunities for U.S. firms.  www.iae.lt 
 
Foreign Competitors 
------------------- 
 
¶13.  There are other nuclear supplier countries engaging 
Lithuania.  The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the 
new NPP states that the following firms' reactors are being 
considered. 
 
-  Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (Canada) Enhanced CANDU-6, 
ACR-1000 
-  Atomstroyexport (Russia) V-392, V-448 
-  Areva (France) EPR, SWR-1000 
-  GE-Hitachi (U.S./Japan) ABWR, ESBWR 
-  Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (Japan) APWR 
-  Westinghouse-Toshiba (U.S./Japanese) AP-600, AP-1000 
 
¶14.  Lithuanian officials are disinclined to choose a reactor 
design of Russian origin for the new plant.  Article 8, 
paragraph 6 of the Lithuanian Law on the New Nuclear Power 
Plant says that "when selecting participants in the 
implementation of the project of the nuclear power plant, the 
criteria of European and Trans-Atlantic integration would be 
applied."  Lithuanians are largely pro-American, and GOL 
officials have shown great interest in the American 
companies' designs.  Areva has been quite active here, 
however, and former PM Gediminas Kirkilas and former Economy 
Minister Vytas Navickas visited Areva's headquarters November 
13-15, 2007. 
 
¶15.  In 2007, Lithuanian Economy Minister Navickas and French 
Ecology Minister Jean-Louis Borloo signed an agreement on 
cooperation in the field of energy that includes clean 
energy, closer business relations and cooperation between 
scientific societies.  In 1994, the GOL signed an agreement 
with Canada on cooperation in the field of nuclear energy 
that was annulled and replaced with Canada's agreement with 
the EU, when Lithuania acceded to the European Union in 2004. 
 
 
LEADER 
 
 
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