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Construction of the Baltic Nuclear Power Plant, Russia


In all, Russia plans to have 26 nuclear power plant units by 2030, seven of them of which are already under construction.

The construction of the Baltic nuclear power plant in Neman district (10 km from the border of Latvia) began in 2010. The construction is carried out by the company Rosenergoatom. The project, managed by State Corporation Rosatom and a planned 49% of private investment, includes two power-generating units with power of 1170 MW and a lifetime of 50 years of each. Most of the electricity produced in the Baltic NPP is intended for export outside the Kaliningrad region to EU countries. The agreement on building the nuclear power plant was signed on the 16th of April 2008.

Public hearings on the preliminary assessment of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the construction and operation of power number 1 and number 2 of the Baltic NPP in Neman were held on the 24th July 2009. About 200 residents opposed to the project were kept out by the police and not allowed to participate in the hearings. Environmentalists expressed sharp criticism of the hearings due to the way they were carried out. Environmentalists point to the lack of protection against possible nuclear terrorist attacks and criticize the tactics of "the formation of a positive attitude towards the project”

by hiding potential risks. The problem of the disposal of the radioactive waste to the Russian Federation is also a concern (as it may have to pass through Lithuania).

According to the EIA, the estimated radius of the zone planning for a mandatory evacuation of the population in a severe accident does not exceed 800 m. Environmentalists dispute this.

There is also serious protest by Lithuania due to the dangerous proximity of the NPP to the borders.

According to the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Russia has failed to explain why the power plant was to be built so close to the border and to carry out seismic analysis; the environmental impact assessment was based on old sources while an earthquake recorded in 2004 was stronger than previously anticipated; Moscow has also failed to explain how it is going to cool the reactor, how it will affect the river Nemunas and surrounding territories; it has not provided a detailed emergency plan and has not carried out stress testing. The transport of spent fuel through Lithuania is also a serious concern (1).

Public hearings in Sovetsk were planned on August 19th, but were canceled. The initiative group against the construction of the Baltic NPP believes the cancellation was caused due to citizen opposition to the project.

On the 17th of July 2009 a rally of supporters of Baltic NPP, organized by the United Russia party took place in Neman. Journalists argue that people were forced to come to the rally.

More than 500 citizens took part in a protest in the city Sovetsk (Kaliningrad region) on the 11th of September 2011, they also signed an official letter to the President of the Russian Federation requesting cancellation of the nuclear power plant construction.

A protest against financing of the construction of the Baltic NPP by the French banking group “Societe Generale” also took place in the center of Kaliningrad. There was also canvassing for a referendum on Constructio Baltic NPP in social networks. Deputies of the Kaliningrad Regional Duma refused activists of the initiative group in a referendum on the construction of the NPP.

The protests were not taken into account and gradually ended.

Construction on the project was suspended in 2013 after the Baltic states and the European Union decided last year to sever their electricity grids from that of northwestern Russia. Russia has thus decided to revise the project due to the need to find proper transmission links, as well as investors to supply funds and export routes.

According to Rosatom, the revised draft will be approved in 2014.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Construction of the Baltic Nuclear Power Plant, Russia
Country:Russian Federation
State or province:Kaliningrad region
(municipality or city/town)Neman district
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict: 1st level:Nuclear
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Nuclear power plants
Specific commodities:Electricity
Industrial waste

Project Details and Actors

Project details:

The Baltic Power Plant consists of two VVER-1200 (two-circuit water-water) reactors (водо-водяной энергетический реактор) that were initially developed to power nuclear submarines. The first ever reactor of this type will only be turned on next year in Novovoronezh Nuclear Power Plant. Each Baltic NPP reactor will have the capacity of 1,150 megawatts and should be turned on in 2016 and 2018. The turbines will be French-made Arabelle. The envisaged life-span of the power plant is 50 years.

MWe gross (net expected) - 1194 (1109)

Worley Parsons was appointed technical consultant for the project.

The joint venture Alstom-Atomenergomash (AAEM), established in 2007 between Alstom and OAO Atomenergomash, part of Russia’s state-owned Rosatom Group, was suspected to build the turbine island for the nuclear power plant. AAEM is the supplier and installer of the major equipment of the turbine island, including Alstom’s ARABELLE steam turbines, generators, condensers, moisture separator reheaters, low-pressure and high-pressure feed water heaters, feed water tanks and various other auxiliary equipment.

Project area:287.37
Level of Investment:8,000,000,000.00 (5 billion euros)
Type of populationUrban
Start of the conflict:25/10/2010
Company names or state enterprises:Rosenergoatom from Russian Federation
Alstom from France
Atomprojekt from Russian Federation
Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom) from Russian Federation
International and Finance InstitutionsSociete Generale (SGA) from France
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Initiative group "Ekozaschita"

Environmental organization "Bellona"

Local ecological organizations

Conflict and Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Lithuanian government, citizens and environmentalist groups
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches

Impacts of the project

Environmental ImpactsVisible: Other Environmental impacts
Other Environmental impactsRisk of nuclear contamination
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Other socio-economic impacts
Other socio-economic impactsRisk of nuclear contamination


Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Project temporarily suspended
The protests were ignored
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The protests were ignored; no further protest activities were done. Construction began before meaningful consultations were carried out locally or with neighbouring Lithuania.

Sources and Materials

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Article about the protest planned on the 11th of September

Protest by the Russian Embassy in Latvia

Protest in the city Sovetsk

Alstom infrormation on the project

Article "Nuclear Power in Russia"

Criticism on public hearings in Neman (24.07.2009)

Critics on the EIA study
Estimated radius of the zone planning for a mandatory evacuation of the population in severe accident does not exceed 800 m

Rally of supporters of Baltic NPP, organized by the United Russia party

canvassing for a referendum on Constructio Baltic NPP in social networks

(1) Russian Cart in front of a horse

Cancellation of public hearings on the preliminary assessment of the environmental impact assessment

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Video for the referendum with the slogan "We live! We decide"

Other documents




Meta information

Contributor:Natalia Finogenova
Last update17/09/2014