The Ignalina NPP (INPP) in Lithuania, which is undergoing decommissioning, has been granted a licence by the State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate (Vatesi) to construct and operate a near-surface repository for low- and intermediate-level short-lived radioactive waste.
Vatesi said that the licence allows the start of construction of the repository (project B-25) using approved technical designs and a preliminary safety analysis report. INPP applied for the licence in May 2015. Project B25 will involve the construction of 36 reinforced concrete vaults to be built in three phases, into which waste packages will be placed. Construction of the first phase of the repository is scheduled for completion in 2023, with waste emplacement expected to continue until 2038 when decommissioning of the Ignalina plant should be completed.
Ignalina’s two Soviet-era RBMK units were shut down permanently as a condition for Lithuania’s membership of the European Union. Ignalina 1 was closed in December 2004 and Ignalina 2 in December 2009. In January 2016, INPP said 23.4% of the total amount of equipment at the station had been dismantled. Waste will be stored in the repository until decommissioning is complete. The decommissioning work is being financed by an international donor fund managed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). As of September 2016, the fund had received more than €750m ($892m).