Lithuania signs deal to close reactor

Accession country finally agrees to 2009 closure of second Chernobyl-style reactor

Lithuania has finally agreed to close its second Ignalina nuclear reactor by 2009, provided that it receives funding from the EU to help it do so. The move, at the latest round of accession talks in Luxembourg, has enabled the country to complete discussions with the EU on energy, one of some 30 policy areas or "chapters" which need to be resolved before it can join the bloc.

Lithuania had already pledged to close the older of the Ignalina plant's two reactors by 2005 as one of its accession commitments, but had not agreed to the 2009 date sought by the EU for the closure of the second unit (EED 10/09/99).

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