Error leads to shut-down at Ignalina

  • 2005-08-10
  • From wire reports
VILNIUS - The Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant had to shut down its single active unit on Aug. 4 after a human error occurred during a power switchover. Electricity production was restored by Aug. 8, and full restoration of operations took place Aug. 9, the plant reported.

Radioactive levels remained unchanged at the facility during the interruption. Rymantas Juozaitis, CEO of Lietuvos Energija (Lithuanian Energy), the state-run utility, said that efforts to restart the unit were launched at 4 p.m. on Aug. 6. "We currently receive 600 MW from Lietuvos Elektrine, some 500 MW we import from Russia, and we have the power plants in Kaunas and Mazeikiai generating some electricity," he said.

The capacity of Lietuvos Elektrine, the largest national combined heat-and-power plant, was set to increase to 900 MW by the evening of Aug. 6, he added.

The Ignalina nuclear facility, which many in the West consider to be unsafe, shut down its first unit on Dec. 31, 2004, in accordance with Lithuania's pre-accession commitments to the European Union. The second unit is scheduled for closure in December 2009.

The country's leadership, however, maintains hopes it will remain a producer of atomic energy and is lobbying European leaders for support in building a new plant.

INPP generated 5.6 billion kWh and sold 5.3 billion kWh of electricity in the first six months of 2005, a plunge of 28 percent from the year-earlier figure.

For 2005 the plant is projecting the sales of some 8.5 's 9.0 billion kWh of electricity, a decline of 35 percent from the year-earlier figure of 13.9 billion kWh.