Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (hereinafter referred to as INPP) has won its Arbitration case with NUKEM Technologies GmbH concerning a long-standing dispute over technology for handling and storage of Heavily Damaged Spent Fuel Assemblies.
NUKEM Technologies GmbH is one of the members of consortium which has been involved in implementation of a key INPP decommissioning project B1 ‘Interim Spent Fuel Storage Facility’ since 2005.
On the 10th October 2018 INPP received a decision from the London based Arbitration panel comprised of three of the foremost experienced and respected barristers in the UK, dismissing entirely and absolutely the claims made by NUKEM Technologies GmbH against INPP. The claim was based on NUKEM Technologies GmbH's claim that the tender documentation contained inaccurate or misleading information relating to the heavily damaged spent fuel assemblies resulting in additional costs for NUKEM Technologies GmbH.
In 2009 NUKEM Technologies GmbH raised the first claim against INPP in which NUKEM Technologies GmbH claimed that they were entitled to an increase in Contract costs under the Project B1 ‘Interim Spent Fuel Storage Facility’ Contract due to differences in the Technical Specification information and ‘actual’ condition of stored damaged nuclear fuel in the INPP ponds. In 2010 an independent Adjudicator after consideration of the documentation and witness accounts provided by both parties decided in favour of INPP.
7 years later, in July 2017, NUKEM Technologies GmbH not accepting the conclusions of the earlier Adjudication, decided to take this dispute to Arbitration in London. The claim stated that differences in the actual condition of the heavily damaged spent fuel assemblies and the information provided in the technical specification have preconditioned additional investigation, redesign, development and manufacturing costs of much greater than 2.5 million Euro for which NUKEM Technologies GmbH would seek to recover in the future based on winning its Arbitration case. Thereby for almost 2 years INPP has been engaged in this process requiring consideration of multiple written submissions, witness statements and other documentation (some of them 20 years old), as well as opinions of independent RBMK type reactor technical and international design documentation experts.
The Arbitration panel upon reviewing the significant body of documentation as well as a 3-day hearing procedure featuring witness cross examination in London, stated that all the data provided by INPP in technical specification are accurate and exact and decided that the claim initiated by NUKEM Technologies GmbH shall be rejected without exception. In its decision, the Arbitration Panel also stated that it was final and not subject to appeal.
At the receipt of such conclusions of the Panel, Audrius Kamienas, INPP’s Director General, said ‘This is a wonderful result which fully justifies all of the efforts of INPP to present its case in a professional manner and I thank employees of INPP, international consultants employed by INPP, UK lawyers of DLA Piper UK LLP and all of the legal and technical experts involved for their hard work, dedication and determination to achieve a successful outcome for INPP’.
On 25 March 2019 the Arbitration panel made its final decision that INPP has recovered both its legal costs and Arbitration fees against NUKEM Technologies GmbH for the Arbitration process, amounting to nearly 800 thousand Euro.