Lithuania’s Ignalina NPP (INPP) is beginning preparatory work for the demolition of the Maišiagala radioactive waste storage facility. After completing public procurement requirements for the work earlier in April, INPP has signed an agreement with the winner of the public procurement tender, UAB Ekobana.

Ekobana will carry out works on the construction and equipment of temporary facilities necessary to prepare for the extraction of radioactive waste from Maišiagala. Temporary structures, engineering networks and communications have been built and installed. A temporary structure of aluminium shaped columns and multilayer panels (caisson) has been provided for the construction of a power facility, where, during construction work, the contractor will have to install ventilation, radiation control, lighting, fire alarm and other systems.

The contractor is expected to complete the work on infrastructure equipment by the middle of the second quarter of 2023. This will include preparing a detailed design, providing the necessary equipment for the extraction of radioactive waste, providing radiation monitoring equipment, and undertaking cold and hot tests. Cold tests will test the operation of systems and equipment without the use of radioactive materials, while hot tests of systems and equipment will be carried out using radioactive materials. After the tests, reports will be prepared for the State Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (Vatesi). Demolition and retrieval of the radioactive waste from Maišiagala will be carried out by INPP.

The Maišiagala facility was loaded with radioactive waste generated as a result of the use of radioactive materials and radioactive sources in industry, medicine and scientific research. In 1989, it was decided to close the repository because it did not meet modern environmental requirements. In December 2016, an agreement was signed with the Environmental Projects Management Agency (APVA) on the implementation of the project for decommissioning Maišiagala. The waste is expected to be removed by the end of 2024. The project is financed by the European Union Structural Fund Cohesion Fund.