Decommissioning work at Lithuania's Ignalina Power Plant reaches crucial stage

  • 2015-02-19
  • from wire reports, VILNIUS

In 2015 the decommissioning process at the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) will enter a crucial stage: main disassembly work is scheduled be completed by 2028.

According to Sergej Krutovcov, the Director of Ignalina NPP Decommissioning Department, 2015-2028 will be the critical period for the whole decommissioning process. The disassembly of reactor equipment, which is planned to be completed by 2035, is one of the hardest tasks. Demolishing of the reactor zone is a continuous process during which particularly hazardous materials will be uncovered. Because of this, the process can only be started when resources are available.

The state enterprise Ignalinos Atomine Elektrine (Ignalina NPP) has announced that since 2010, over 21,800 tonnes of equipment and related structures have been disassembled, i.e. 16.8 percent of the total amount .

Decommissioning work has increased every year since Ignalina NPP ceased operating. In 2014 a total of 7,188 tonnes of equipment and related structures were dismantled. A similar amount is expected to be disassembled in 2015.

Based on the final Ignalina NPP decommissioning plan, a total of 129,700 tonnes of equipment and related structures are to be disassembled.

Most of the dismantled equipment will be tested for radionuclide toxicity and sold as scrap. The rest will be temporarily stored in the buffer storage in the company's territory until it is moved to be finally buried in disposal facilities.

Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant is located near the city of Visaginas, in eastern Lithuania. Its construction was completed in 1983, while Lithuania was still part of the Soviet Union, but in 1999 its decomissioning was agreed as a condition of EU membership for Lithuania.