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The Minister of the Environment Jaanus Tamkivi replied to the interpellation concerning the plan of construction of a nuclear power station on Suur-Pakri (No 352), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Karel Rüütli, Valdur Lahtvee, Mark Soosaar and Kadri Simson on 13 January.
Tamkivi explained that the issue had been discussed at a Government sitting. In the Minister’s words, he is aware of the situation because Eesti Energia had turned to the Environmental Board for initiation of geotechnical site investigations. After the proceeding, the Environmental Board had granted the permission. Tamkivi quoted a passage from the approval of the Environmental Board: “The Environmental Board points out that the whole island is in a special conservation area. As the administrator of the special conservation area, we consider it necessary that no damage be caused to habitats in the course of works. Conducting of works during the nesting period of birds should be avoided and, at the same time, we consider it necessary to stress that other locations on the territory of the Republic of Estonia should also be considered when choosing the location for the nuclear power station.”
Tamkivi noted that the Environmental Board had granted Eesti Energia an approval for conducting investigations on Suur-Pakri, with environmental conditions. In the Minister’s opinion, there is nothing illegal in it in itself. Besides, Eesti Energia has a valid approval of the city of Paldiski, that is, the local government to whose jurisdiction the territory belongs. “The objectives of a protected area do not mean that nothing can ever be investigated there. An investigation, in its turn, does not automatically mean a permission to construct anything. Before that, a thorough environmental impacts assessment, including additional investigations and analyses, public discussions and many other things have to be done,” explained Tamkivi. In his words, it is a lengthy, thorough and transparent process where everybody has a chance to participate and influence the decision.
In answering the question as to who is competent to decide on the location of the nuclear power station in Estonia, the Minister of the Environment said: “I think that, at that point, the public has to be significantly involved, and arguments both for and against have to be discussed. Certainly, the Riigikogu might discuss this as a very important issue in the future, but it is the Government who should make the final decision on the location of this object with a significant impact.”
The Minister of the Environment also replied to the interpellation concerning fishing (No 350), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Kalle Laanet, Toivo Tootsen, Vladimir Velman, Tiit Kuusmik, Lauri Laasi, Toomas Varek, Ain Seppik, Enn Eesmaa, Inara Luigas, Mailis Reps and Marika Tuus on 13 January.
The Riigikogu Press Service