Lithuania regulator authorises Ignalina waste facility

29 January 2016


Ignalina NPP applied for a licence to build and operate the facility in June 2012.The landfill-type facility (the B19-2 project) will comprise three modules, each able to store about 20,000 cubic metres of operational and decommissioning radioactive waste from the nuclear plant, Vatesi said. Construction is scheduled to begin in mid-2016 and operation in 2018. It will take around 20 years to fill the facility, after which it will be sealed with natural and artificial barriers and actively monitored for the following 100 years.

Ignalina is managing the decommissioning of the two-unit plant. Lithuania agreed to shut down the Soviet-design RBMK reactors in 2004 and 2009, as a condition of its accession to the European Union.

In June, the Ignalina NPP applied for a licence to construct and operate a surface storage facility for low- and intermediate-level short-lived waste (the B25 project), the first phase of which is to start in 2021. The repository is intended for the final disposal of 100,000 cubic metres of radioactive waste both from the operation of the plant and generated during its decommissioning. The waste is to be stored by 2030, following the dismantling of the NPP and the reprocessing of its waste.

In 2009, Vatesi issued the Ignalina plant with a licence to construct an interim storage facility for used fuel from units 1 and 2. It also granted Ignalina a licence to build solid radioactive waste treatment and storage facilities at the site.

Ignalina nuclear power plant and construction contractor for the interim spent fuel storage facility (a consortium of Nukem Technologies and GNS) in late November signed a contract amendment at the headquarters of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London ending a lengthy dispute between the plant and contractors. The contract cost for the project (B1) is €193.5m ($209.4m). "The Contract Amendment means that both parties negate all current and historical claims, which have arisen due to delays in the Project B1 implementation" and recorded the new schedule and final commissioning of the facility, according to a statement by Ignalina NPP. It was noted that "the deadlines remain the same": hot trials will be completed in the middle of 2017 and the new facility will start operating in autumn 2017.



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