Ignalina NPP decommissioning progress discussed

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2018 03 27

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On March 22 (Thursday), the Ignalina Programme Monitoring Committee (the Committee) held a meeting at the Ministry of Energy to assess the progress of the decommissioning of Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) achieved in 2007 and approve the 2017 Programme Monitoring Report.

The participants of the meeting were presented with the progress and results of Ignalina NPP decommissioning projects. One of the major works carried out in 2017 was the successful launch of the Interim Spent Fuel Storage Facility (Project B1), while the unloading of nuclear fuel from rectors was finished earlier than planned, at the beginning of 2018.

The hot trails of the Solid Radioactive Waste Management and Storage Facility (Project B2/3/4) using radioactive materials are carried out intensively at the moment.

It was pointed out at the meeting that the major efforts now must be directed towards preparation for key future decommissioning works – the dismantling of reactors.  Technical specifications of preparatory works are under development now.

According to Deputy Minister of Energy Lina Sabaitienė, Lithuania highly appreciates the proposal of the European Commission (EC) to maintain, in the next EU financial perspective, a special budget line for funding the decommissioning of Ignalina NPP.

“The decommissioning of Ignalina NPP is a long-term process, therefore, it is very important to ensure that the Ignalina Programme, which started in 2004, is carried out without interruption. By implementing this programme we solve the issue of nuclear safety which is vital not only for Lithuania but also the whole European Union. We deal with the problem of the management and storage of radioactive waste, and the unique experience accumulated by us will be useful for other EU countries that will have to shut down their nuclear power plants in the coming years,” said the Deputy Minister of Energy.

In September 2017, the Lithuanian Government made a decision to maintain the current level of national funding for the decommissioning of Ignalina NPP (14%) by the end of 2038.

The Committee is a body responsible for the supervision and management of the Ignalina Programme under which the EU provides funding for the decommissioning of Ignalina NPP. The meeting was presided over by the Deputy Minister of Energy and Massimo Garribba, the director for Nuclear Energy, Safety and ITER of the Directorate General for Energy of the EC.

The members of the Committee include the Deputy Minister of Finance Loreta Maskaliovienė, the director of the Nuclear Safety Department of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Vince Novak, and the director of the Public Institution Central Project Management Agency Lidija Kašubienė.

The meeting of the Committee was attended by the head of the State Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (VATESI) Michail Demčenko, the top managers of Ignalina NPP, and the representatives of the Office of the Government.