IAEA team says Lithuania’s regulators must consider future challenges

4 May 2016

Lithuania's nuclear and radiation safety regulation authorities are committed to providing effective oversight, but need to ensure they have adequate resources for future challenges, according to an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) team. Lithuania's Ignalina NPP has two RBMK reactor units that have been shut down and are undergoing decommissioning. However, the site still hosts used fuel and other radioactive waste storage facilities. In addition, radioactive sources are used in medicine, research and industry. Lithuania is considering constructing a reactor at a new site adjacent to Ignalina.

The IRRS team spent 12-days assessing Lithuania's regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety which includes the Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate (Vatesi) and the Radiation Protection Centre (RSC). In their preliminary findings, the experts said the possible construction of a new NPP, including preparations related to safety infrastructure, would require additional efforts. They noted that the regulatory authorities would have to secure the additional resources and skills required for regulatory oversight of any new facility. The authorities also constantly need to update regulatory requirements in line with new international standards on radiation protection and nuclear safety, the team said.

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