Improving the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management at INPP

09 October,
Improving the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management at INPP

With the aim to improve the INPP management, control and prevention system during the nuclear energy facility decommissioning, and to reduce the negative impact on the environment, ecosystem and population, SE Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (hereinafter – INPP) on 6 October 2020 signed the cooperation agreement with the State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate (hereinafter – VATESI) and the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (hereinafter – DSA) regarding the project “Improving the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management at Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant”. In order to properly implement the tasks of this international cooperation, for which budget 3.5 million euro is planned, the INPP and the Public Institution Central Project Management Agency (hereinafter – CPMA) on 8 October 2020 signed the agreement on the implementation of the project “Improving the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management at Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant”. The project is funded by European Economic Area and Norwegian financial mechanisms for the 2014–2021 years.

Achievement the overall goal will contribute to the safe management of radioactive waste (RAW), ensuring that future generations will not inherit the unreasonable burden of radioactive waste management. During the implementation of the project, it is planned to develop the concept of final disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel (hereinafter – SNF) and Radioactive Waste (hereinafter – RAW) in the territory of Lithuania, as well as to improve RAW management and decommissioning processes.

Disposal SNF and long-lived RAW into a deep repository (hereinafter – DR) is the only sustainable and safe way to final disposal of RAW. The GM project starts with the following initial phases:

  • to develop the geophysical (seismic) research program;
  • to perform socio-economic assessment of the potential areas for installation of DR;
  • to perform geophysical (seismic) surveys in the territories selected for DR;
  • to develop the description of conditions of the selected areas;
  • to develop the DR concept.

Completion of these tasks will lead to a more detailed selection and characterization of the DR location. The funds allocated for the implementation of other equally important tasks will allow to improve the RAW management and decommissioning processes and to raise the competencies of the employees. It is planned to analyse the possibility of the rearrangement of the Bituminized RAW storage complex into a repository. As such a way of RAW disposal is unique and there are no specialists in Lithuania who can perform relevant assessments, the expert assessment within the scope of this project will be performed with the help of the Norwegian partner DSA with the involvement of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission experts.

During the implementation of this project the various challenges will occur in the management of RAW, so it will be a unique opportunity to improve the knowledge and competencies of decommissioning of nuclear power facilities at the level of international cooperation. Specialists participating in technical or consulting visits to foreign nuclear facilities will receive examples of good practice and experience required for the safe and efficient INPP decommissioning process.