The Ignalina nuclear power station in Lithuania. Photo courtesy EBRD. The decommissioning of the Ignalina nuclear power station in Lithuania is “well advanced” and has reached a new milestone with the delivery of the final storage cask for spent nuclear fuel, one year ahead of schedule, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development confiremd today.

Germany-based GNS (Gesellschaft für Nuklear-Service) said last week it had delivered the final cask. The casks are used for the storage of spent nuclear fuel assemblies that date from the time when the facility’s two Russian 1,185-MW RBMK units were operational.

Lithuania closed the first unit at Ignalina in 2004 and the second in 2009 following safety concerns about its Soviet-designed reactors. The EBRD is managing the Ignalina International Decommissioning Support Fund, established in 2001.

The EBRD said today that the decommissioning process is well advanced. An interim storage facility for spent fuel opened in October 2016 and has since received a total of 142 Constor RBMK 1500-M2 casks loaded with 12,891 spent fuel assemblies from the Ignalina reactors and storage ponds of Units 1 and 2.

A total of 190 Constor RBMK 1500-M2 casks are to be loaded and transferred to the interim spent fuel storage facility by the end of 2022, with one Constor RBMK 1500-M2 retained as a spare. The casks are supplied by GNS.

With the delivery of the final cask, Ignalina now has the full capacity to safely manage and store all spent nuclear fuel from the two RBMK reactors at the site.

The safe and secure storage of spent RBMK-1500 nuclear fuel from the INPP nuclear reactors and storage ponds is ensured in accordance with the requirements established in Lithuania, in compliance with EU standards and the recommendations of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and represents a key cornerstone in the overall decommissioning programme for Ignalina 1 and 2.

The Ignalina International Decommissioning Support Fund is supported by the European Union, which has provided 96% of the contributions. Other contributors include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

Date: Tuesday, 03 March 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/decommissioning-of-soviet-era-reactors-well-advanced-says-ebrd-3-1-2020