This paper discusses post-Soviet Lithuanian nuclear energy issues from the viewpoint of political dilemma. The author examines post-Soviet Lithuanian energy policies and relevant movements primarily on Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) and Visaginas NPP. Although Lithuania once had a NPP—Ignalina NPP—in the east of the nation, it ceased to work in the 2000s. First, when Ignalina NPP was active, the dilemma was over the issue of risk or energy supply. The NPP, which was made by the Soviet Union, was technologically old and risky. However, it cannot be denied that the NPP sufficiently met the nation’s electricity demand. When Lithuania was considering the closure of Ignalina NPP, the dilemma was focused on the issue of energy independence. Lithuanian government tried to close Ignalina NPP and build a new one. But, Lithuania’s poor resource reserves made it difficult to truly be free from neighboring countries, which raised questions about the closure. Finally, while Lithuania was focused on the construction of Visaginas NPP, the situation became far more challenging. The Visaginas NPP plan has hardly progressed, which created a problem for the nations that sponsored it for electricity. Due to this complex, ambiguous, and liquid situation, the project is now virtually discontinued, though the end of the project has not been officially declared.
Kentaro Okawara, Keio University, Japan