The government at its Cabinet sitting on Thursday discussed possibilities for the introduction of nuclear power generation in Estonia and decided that a national workgroup on nuclear energy must be established to develop a stance on the subject, reported LETA/BNS.
"One of potential solutions for increasing Estonia's energy security, sustainability and competitiveness and achieving the 2050 climate goals is commissioning of nuclear energy after 2030," Prime Minister Juri Ratas said, describing it as one of many possibilities for climate neutral energy production in Estonia, which deserves a broad discussion in society and in any event in-depth analyses in making further decisions.
The introduction of nuclear energy has begun to be spoken about in Estonia foremost because, as a source of energy with a low carbon footprint, it could contribute to achieving Estonia's climate goals for 2050.
Another upside of nuclear energy is the capability to ensure round-the-clock energy supply regardless of weather conditions.
One of the downsides meanwhile is the time- and resource-intensive process of commissioning of nuclear energy.
Minister of the Environment Rene Kokk said that introduction of nuclear energy would help ensure the energy security of Estonia, while requiring major investments from the state in the construction and operation of the plant, as well as a long period of preparation.
Kokk said that alongside the production of energy, a nuclear plant can be used also for the heating of buildings and, with some technologies, it is also possible to produce hydrogen.
At the same time, the establishment of a nuclear power plant entails several security and political risks.
Also the question what to do with spent nuclear fuel, the handling and storage of which is complex and would require the establishment of a special storage facility in Estonia, is not unimportant. ■
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