Zagreb to build nuclear plant

Thursday, April 16, 2009

PODGORICA -- Croatia officials have confirmed that an agreement has been signed with Albania for the construction of a joint nuclear facility near the Montenegrin border.

Croatian Economy Ministry spokesman Tomislav Mazal told Podgorica television station Vijesti that the two governments had formed a working group of five experts each tasked with the technical implementation of this major project.

It was announced earlier that the contract had been signed by the Albanian and Croatian Prime Ministers Sali Berisha and Ivo Sanader, and that the plant would be built near Skadar, where the Bojana river flows out the Skadarsko Lake into the Adriatic Sea, near the border with Montenegro.

According to Podgorica media, the plant will cost about EUR 4bn and will have a capacity of about 1,500 megawatts.

The construction is expected to be handled by the Croatian state electric company HEP, so that most of the produced energy will go to Croatia.

Following the announcement, which coincides with the 30th anniversary of the devastating earthquake that hit the Montenegrin coastline in 1979, construction expert Čedomir Čejović warned of the dangers of building such a plant in locations prone to seismic activity.

“Our riviera is only about 30 kilometers from that region. Any incident would wipe entire towns from the map. The Skadarsko Lake, even without incidents, would be put in peril by the plant’s work, because its temperature would increase by several degrees. That would destroy plant and animal life in the lake,” he cautioned.

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