Decommissioning Experience of Lithuania

22 May,
Decommissioning Experience of Lithuania

On 15-19 May this year, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) hosted an International Conference on Nuclear Decommissioning in Vienna. As the world faces a rising tide of decommissioning of closed nuclear power plants or scientific reactors, the need for sustainable technological, regulatory, economic, management and other solutions will only increase in the near future. The aim of the conference was to present a wide range of practical examples of decommissioning and to share national experiences in order to avoid mistakes in the future.

The five-day conference brought together representatives from industry, academic and public sectors from around the world to share their practical experience on a wide range of decommissioning issues, from regulatory requirements to commercial solutions available or under development to address the challenges.

As one of the largest nuclear decommissioning "sites" in the world and in Europe, the invaluable experience of Lithuania is of great interest to the nuclear community, and representatives from Lithuania were invited to share their experience in several conference sessions. The INPP representatives presented to the conference participants the progress of the INPP decommissioning projects, their complexity, and the reasons for the choice of an emergency decommissioning strategy.

They also exchanged information on the challenges related to the need for specialists and technologies in preparation for the dismantling of the world's first graphite RBMK reactor, as well as on the experience and lessons learned in the projects for the unloading and storage of spent nuclear fuel and installation of radioactive waste management infrastructure. In another session, IAEA experts presented their experience with international cooperation and its importance in ensuring the availability of professional and innovative technological solutions as well as attracting the best experts.

In a special open discussion session during the conference, representatives of the IAEA and Lithuanian regulator VATESI, together with partners from the Norwegian regulator DSA and IAEA, organised an event to share useful experiences of cooperation in finding technical and regulatory solutions for the management of bituminous waste at the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant site.