Lithuania's State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate (Vatesi) has issued a licence to Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP) for the operation of solid radioactive waste treatment and storage facilities (B3/4). The licence will allow hot tests to begin using radioactive waste. During the tests, radioactive waste will be extracted from temporary storage and, transported to complex B3, where it will be processed, packed and placed in storage (B4).
The hot tests should be completed by April 2018 ready for commercial operation in November 2018 after the design safety criteria have been confirmed, the project documentation with Vatesi has been agreed, and the Safety Analysis Report and other licensing documents have been updated. Vatesi will then grant a permit for commercial operation of the equipment.
The solid waste management and storage facility (SWMSF) at Ignalina has two parts – B2 and B3/4. The B2-1 facility for solid radioactive waste retrieval received a licence to start hot trials in July 2017. Conditioned solid radioactive waste will be moved from temporary storage to a near-surface disposal facility (B25-1).
The SWMSF project is funded by the INPP decommissioning support fund (IIDSF) administered by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The Assembly of Donors manages the IIDSF. The donor countries are the European Commission, Austria, Belgium, Great Britain, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland. The two Soviet-built RBMK reactors at Ignalina were closed as a condition for Lithuania’s accession to the European Union. Ignalina 1 was shut down in December 2004 and Ignalina 2 in December 2009.
Photo: B3/4 radioactive waste facility at Ignalina (Credit: Ignalina NPP)