Lithuania’s Ignalina NPP (INPP) said on 29 April that it was preparing for dismantling and decontamination of units А-2 and В-2 (project 2210, phase 1) after it had received approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In accordance with clause 2 of part 1 of Article 10 of the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Environmental Impact Assessment of a Proposed Economic Activity, the EPA had decided that the proposed economic activity – dismantling and decontamination of blocks A-2 and B-2 would be permitted based on the environmental impact assessment report submitted by INPP.

Within the framework of the project, the main equipment and auxiliary systems of the INPP unit 2 reactor will be dismantled, and the primary processing of the dismantling waste will be carried out. In the middle of 2022, it is planned to complete the preparation of documents on dismantling and decontamination of the A-2 and B-2 units and to coordinate them with the regulatory institutions of Lithuania.

Dismantling of equipment and primary waste treatment is planned to be completed by 2029. More than 10,000 tons of equipment will be dismantled during the project. Following the dismantling of the reactors, which is scheduled for completion in 2035, the remaining systems and equipment will be dismantled which was used during the dismantling of the reactors.

INPP said the work will not have a significant radiological impact on the environment or the health of the population, socio-economic, natural components of the environment of neighbouring countries, or the health of the population of these countries. following consultations, with neighbouring countries no comments or suggestions were submitted related to the environmental impact assessment.

During the preparation of documents and execution of works, the experience gained during the implementation of previous projects on dismantling and decontamination of INPP equipment, as well as the skills and experience of other NPPs, where similar works were performed or are currently being carried out, will be used, INPP said. The dismantling and decontamination of the equipment will be carried out in accordance with modern environmental requirements, using the most modern technologies, the IAEA principles for radioactive waste management and modern best practices in the countries of the European Union.

In February, the Lithuanian government approved the programme for the development of decommissioning of nuclear power facilities and radioactive waste management for 2021–2030. INPP comprised two water-cooled graphite-moderated channel-type RBMK-1500 reactors.

Lithuania agreed to close the plant as part of its accession agreement to the European Union (EU), which argued that lack of containment made the units unsafe. Ignalina 1 closed in 2004 and Ignalina 2 – which accounted for 25% of Lithuania’s electricity generating capacity and supplied about 70% of Lithuania’s electrical demand – closed in 2009.