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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Wednesday, 23.09.2020, 17:56

Coronavirus crisis had 'minimal impact' on Ignalina NPP closure works

BC, Vilnius, 13.08.2020.Print version
The coronavirus crisis somewhat slowed down the decommissioning work at Lithuania's Ignalina nuclear power plant that was shut down back in 2009, its chief executive officer said on August 12th, cites LETA/BNS.

"Currently, the dismantling and unloading works are going according to plan," Audrius Kamienas said as he briefed the Cabinet on the progress of decommissioning projects. 

"COVID-19 had a minimal impact. We think we lost about a couple of months, due mainly to IAEA inspectors being unable to come and carry out their duties," he said. 

Deputy Energy Minister Lina Sabaitiene said Lithuania had sought 692 million euros in funding for the Ignalina plant in the EU's next budget period, but the approved amount, 490 million euros, would be sufficient, too.   

However, Lithuania expected to secure funding for the dismantling of the Ignalina plant's reactors, scheduled for 2027-2033, Sabaitiene noted. "With the results of the negotiations being as they are now, a heavier burden will be placed on future negotiators for funding beyond 2027," she said. 

All intact fuel has been already being removed from the plant's first reactor unit and damaged fuel is now being handled, a process that is technically more complex and requires more time. It is planned to move all fuel to the storage facility by October 2022.

The decommissioning process is estimated to cost 3.316 billion euros in total and is scheduled to be completed in 2038.

In line with its EU accession commitments, Lithuania shut down the first unit of the Ignalina plant in late 2004 and closed its second and last operating unit five years later.

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