On June 12, the Central Project Management Agency (hereinafter – CPMA) decided to allocate EUR 3.5 million euros to the SE Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (hereinafter - INPP) for the project “Improving the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management at the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant”, of which almost 3 million euros are funds of the Norwegian financial mechanism, and 0.5 million euros are funds of general financing.
The Lithuanian National Program for the Development of Radioactive Waste Management states that the question is currently being considered of the only sustainable way to dispose of the final untreated spent nuclear fuel and long-lived radioactive waste that must be buried in a deep geological repository. The goal of the INPP is the safe management of radioactive waste, ensuring that future generations will not inherit the unreasonable burden of radioactive waste management. The project “Improving the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management at the Ignalina NPP” will allow Lithuania and the INPP to begin the implementation of the initial stages of the deep geological repository project.
The deep geological repository installation project in Lithuania is long-term and especially important. Its successful execution depends on proper preparation and implementation of initial work. Part of the received support funds will be allocated for the development of the deep geological repository concept, as well as it is planned to finance a geophysical research program, socio-economic assessment of potential locations for the deep repository, preparation of a description of exploratory wells. A package of legal acts has already been submitted to the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, which aims to establish a financing scheme for the construction of a deep geological repository, which is necessary to ensure the continuity of the project implementation.
Another part of the support funds will be directed to the management of radioactive waste and the improvement of decommissioning and development of personnel competencies. It is planned to analyze the possibility of turning the bitumen radioactive waste storage complex into a landfill, as well as prepare a safety assessment of the industrial waste retrieval facility and confirm that the waste stored at the facility is classified as uncontrolled to provide the status of the landfill.
For the first time, the INPP project will be implemented with project cornerparts - the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority DSA and the State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate (VATESI). This will be a unique opportunity to collaborate on improving the decommissioning knowledge and expertise of nuclear facilities in order to gain global best practice experience in ensuring a safe and efficient decommissioning process. The formed cooperation network and acquired skills will be further used in the daily activities of INPP and counterparts.
"This is an example of constructive cooperation and efficient work, which has resulted in the emergence of a new funding mechanism that we did not have before. We will be able to allocate this funding to activities that cannot be funded from decommissioning funds. For the first time, we will implement the project not alone, but with the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority DSA and VATESI. We are grateful to the colleagues of the European Economic Area and Norwegian Programs Division of the CPMA Lithuanian and International Investment Department for their professionalism, assistance and sincere cooperation. We believe that such excellent cooperation will be a part of the further successful implementation of the project, ”said Audrius Kamienas, INPP General Director, about the decision to allocate funds.