Application of Ignalina NPP to issue a license for decommissioning activities

The list of documents of the State Enterprise Ignalina NPP required to issue a license for decommissioning and the schedule for their submission were agreed

On 29 November this year, the State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate (VATESI) has agreed the list of documents of the SE Ignalina NPP required to issue a license for decommissioning and the schedule for their submission. In accordance with the agreed schedule, the SE Ignalina NPP will provide VATESI with the necessary documents for decision making, and the public will be able to read these documents and submit comments.

The application, in which the SE Ignalina NPP requested to issue a license for INPP decommissioning, was accepted by VATESI in October this year. Together with the application, the SE Ignalina NPP submitted a list of documents necessary for obtaining a license and their submission to VATESI schedule.

According to the license applied for, SE Ignalina NPP is planning to carry out the decommissioning of Ignalina NPP Units 1 and 2, solid radioactive waste storage facilities (buildings Nos. 155, 155/1, 157, 157/1) and the radioactive waste management facilities of these storage buildings and liquid radioactive waste management facilities (building No. 150).

The SE Ignalina NPP informs the public about the initiation of the licensing process and provides the opportunity to read the documents scheduled in accordance with the Nuclear Safety Requirements BSR-1.1.5-2017 “Rules of Procedure for Public Participation in Decision-making in the Area of Nuclear Energy” (hereinafter referred to as BSR-1.1.5-217), approved by the Head of VATESI on October 23, 2017, order No. 22.3-182.

License supporting documents submitted to VATESI and the schedule for submission of documents will be made public on the website of the SE Ignalina NPP.

It is important to note that a license to perform decommissioning of the Ignalina NPP may be issued only when all spent fuel from the nuclear units will be shipped to the new spent fuel storage facility. It is planned to be done by the end of 2022.

After the final shutdown of the Units 1 and 2 of the Ignalina NPP (in the end of 2004 and 2009 respectively), the terms of validity of their operating licenses were amended, indicating that these licenses allow the operation of the power units which were shut down completely. It should be noted that all works carried out so far and currently ongoing works are performed on the basis of licenses for the operation of completely shut down units and are considered as a preparation for decommissioning.

The SE Ignalina NPP will prepare and submit a total of 20 documents supporting the license application. The list of these documents is regulated by the resolution “Rules of Procedure for Issuing Licenses and Permits in the Area of Nuclear Energy”, approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. Documents supporting the license application are documents of different nature and purpose, describing nuclear and radiation safety issues, technological and work planning issues, management system, physical safety, emergency readiness, personnel training, work safety, fire safety and environmental protection.

The decommissioning license will cover all the facilities located within the security fence, which marks the boundaries of the nuclear site, except those where the activities carried out are in their essence the operation of those facilities. The license also does not cover the objects managed by the SE Ignalina NPP and located outside the INPP security fence, which will be operated for longer period of time in comparison with the INPP decommissioning (spent nuclear fuel storage facilities, solid radioactive waste management and storage complex, radioactive waste repositories).

It is important to note that in June 5, 2014, Law on the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant Decommissioning No. XII-914 was adopted, which established the legal framework for the decommissioning of the Ignalina NPP as a nuclear facility. This law creates the legal basis that the decommissioning of the Ignalina NPP covers both power units and their auxiliary nuclear facilities – radioactive waste management facilities that become unnecessary in a longer term perspective, i.e. when there will be no power units themselves.