Belarus nuclear power plant stirs fears in Lithuania

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OSTROVETS, Belarus: Thirty years after the Chernobyl disaster spewed radioactive clouds into the sky and sent shockwaves across Europe, Belarus is building a nuclear reactor on the doorstep of the European Union despite fears in neighbouring Lithuania. Construction of the facility, located in the northwestern Belarusian town of Ostrovets only around 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the Lithuanian border, is entering its final stages. Its two reactors, each with a capacity of 1,200 megawatts, will be operational from 2019 and 2020 respectively. The project, approved by strongman Alexander Lukashenko’s government in 2008 and spearheaded by the Russian state energy corporation Rosatom, is being nearly completely financed by Moscow with a $10-billion loan.

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