Radioactive waste from Maisiagala to be moved to Lithuanian N-plant by year-end

  • 2023-11-17
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Radioactive waste from the decommissioned Maisiagala storage facility in the eastern Lithuanian district of Sirvintos is planned to be transported to the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP) storage facilities by the end of the year, INPP CEO Linas Bauzys said on Friday.

"As soon as we receive the permits from the authorities, we immediately start (waste collection and removal). The aim is to complete all the removal work by the end of this year," he told BNS. 

According to him, 300 cubic meters of radioactive waste will be transported from the Maisiagala facility to the INPP. 

The so-called cold testing of the Maisiagala storage facility's waste management equipment and systems has already been carried out, the INPP, which is responsible for the safety of the facility, said on Friday. 

Energy Minister Dainius Kreivys says Lithuania will be the first in the world to dismantle such a facility in accordance with the highest international safety standards.

"Once all the waste has been removed from the storage facility and it has been confirmed that there are no contaminated structures and soil left on its grounds, the area will be returned to the public," he said in a press release. 

The government decided back in 2018 to decommission the Maisiagala facility, with an estimated 16 million euros in EU funds needed for the purpose.

The facility, a monolithic reinforced concrete basement, is located at a depth of three meters in a forest in Sirvintos District, some 7 kilometers northwest of the town of Maisiagala and about 30 kilometers from Vilnius. 

The facility was used to store unsorted radioactive waste collected from industrial enterprises, medical and scientific institutions, and military units between 1963 and 1989. 

It was closed and mothballed in 1989.