The INPP success is presented to the international community

26 September,
The INPP success is presented to the international community

On September 26, representatives of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP) presented the successfully implemented project for the unloading of spent nuclear fuel from the units and transporting it to the Interim Spent Fuel Storage Facility. For the first time, the INPP presented its success story to the international professional community at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The seminar was organised by Lithuania on the margins of the IAEA's 66th General Conference.

Since 2016, the removal of 15,555 spent nuclear fuel assemblies (including damaged fuel) from the units to the Interim Storage Facility has been initiated and successfully completed at the INPP.

On April 21, 2022, the 190th  and final spent fuel container was shipped to the INPP Interim Spent Fuel Storage Facility (Project B1) (read more).

Over the entire lifetime of the Ignalina NPP, 21,571 fuel assemblies have been used: 6,016 are stored in the old repository and 15,555 in the new one.

During the seminar, INPP experts presented the technical and organisational aspects of the INPP fuel unloading project and shared their experience and knowledge gained during this unique phase of the decommissioning process.

The INPP fuel offloading project is a critical milestone in the INPP decommissioning plan and a prerequisite for obtaining a decommissioning licence. Its successful completion also facilitates further decommissioning.

"The INPP team has made every effort to make the fuel unloading process as efficient as possible while maintaining the highest level of safety. The INPP personnel will still have to perform decommissioning activities and to find solutions to future challenges. I am confident that their knowledge and professional skills will ensure the safe and successful achievement of future milestones and the completion of the entire decommissioning programme ," said Deputy Minister of Energy Albinas Zananavičius, welcoming the participants to the workshop.

"Today's event is the result of the hard work and efforts of all stakeholders. I firmly believe that this project will be an excellent example and source of knowledge for our colleagues around the world. It will play an important role for many years to come, as its outcome is significant not only for the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant, local community, Lithuanian authorities, but also for all people who want to live in a safe and clean environment. We have faced many challenges on this special journey. However, these challenges have strengthened us not only as individual professionals but also as a team. The completion of the project is the result of the highest level of professionalism, teamwork and, undoubtedly close interdepartmental cooperation," said INPP Director General Audrius Kamienas.

"The completion of this major and technically complex project is a milestone in the history of the power plant and an expression of our core mission. We strive to become experts in the safe and efficient decommissioning of nuclear facilities and the management of radioactive waste. We are determined to the safe implementation of a globally unprecedented project - the decommissioning of a nuclear power plant with two RBMK-type reactors," said Mr Kamienas.

During the project, we made the process more efficient, improved technologies, and created our own technological solutions for the safe storage of damaged spent nuclear fuel. Thanks to the solutions implemented, clear work planning and meticulous daily control of the work, as well as the professionalism of the team, the project was successfully implemented ahead of schedule," said Dmitrij Jekateriničev, Director of the INPP Project Management Department, during the presentation.

The participants of the event were interested in technological solutions, peculiarities of handling damaged spent nuclear fuel, preservation and exchange of accumulated experience and knowledge.