On 25 October 2019, Specialists of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (Chernobyl NPP) visited Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (Ignalina NPP) to discuss the issues of nuclear power plant decommissioning and radioactive waste management that are of mutual interest.
The purpose of the visit was to get acquainted with the general Ignalina NPP decommissioning process, organization of dismantling and decontamination works and technologies.
During the meeting, representatives of both power plants shared their experience in organizing decommissioning works and gained experience in implementing radioactive waste management projects. Much attention was paid to INPP successfully operated complex B10, where measurement of radioactivity levels of dismantled equipment has been done since 2010: equipment that passes inspection at this facility and has uncontrolled levels of radioactivity is re-auctioned.
Moreover, specialists from Chernobyl NPP visited whole Ignalina NPP controlled area in order to evaluate the amount of dismantling works, as well as inspected the cementing facilities.
Meetings of this kind and exchange of experience between Chernobyl NPP and Ignalina NPP specialists have already become good practice for sharing knowledge in future decommissioning projects.
It is noteworthy that both power plants and their associated decommissioning processes are partly similar but at the same time very different due to historically existing decommissioning conditions and approved different decommissioning strategies. Due to the consequences of 1986 accident, the Chernobyl NPP strategy provided for postponed decommissioning, which allows to delay some complicated issues for the future. Meanwhile, according to Ignalina NPP approved decommissioning strategy all projects must be executed strictly according to the set time schedule, therefore, Chernobyl INPP decommissioning stages and methods differ. Nevertheless, due to similar RBMK reactor technology, Ignalina and Chernobyl NPP faces many common challenges in the field of decommissioning.