"Lithuania inherited a weighty burden that other nations were spared," said European Commissioner for Enlargement Gunter Verheugen. He was speaking at the opening of a two-day international conference aimed at attracting grants for financing the closure of one of the two reactors at the Ignalina nuclear power plant. Ignalina supplies over 70 per cent of Lithuania's electricity needs and makes it one of the world's three most nuclear-dependent nations. It is built to the same RBMK-type design as Ukraine's Chernobyl, which exploded in 1986, spewing radioactive dust over much of Europe. With the biggest RBMK-type reactors still operating in the world, Ignalina has understandably drawn concern from the EU, particularly the nearby Nordic nations.
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