Work that began in October 2011 to dismantle the turbine halls of unit 1 of the Ignalina nuclear power plant – or the B9/1 project – has been completed. The dismantled equipment weighs more than 18,000 tonnes and consists mostly of turbines, generators, heat exchangers, pumps, valves and pipes.
In a statement last week, Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant said work is continuing on the initial treatment of dismantled waste, which involves “crushing, decontamination, radiological measurements and packaging”, and which is scheduled for completion in 2019.
Lithuania agreed to shut down Ignalina 1 and 2 as a condition of its accession to the European Union. The European Commission is providing substantial funding for the project, scheduled to be completed in 2038.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in April that Lithuania should plan for potential project risks in the decommissioning of the Ignalina plant. A five-day, IAEA-led expert mission to the plant reviewed project risks and uncertainties related to the decommissioning of the two RBMK-1500 light-water, graphite-moderated reactors, which were permanently shut down in 2004 and 2009, respectively.
The mission – carried out at the invitation of the Lithuanian government – said the operator has “identified risks at both the corporate and individual project level and has taken into consideration the experience of other countries in decommissioning”.