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On 28th of March 2022 Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP) was granted by Lithuanian State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate (VATESI) for industrial Operational permit for Solid Radioactive Waste Management and Storage Facilities (B34). Prior VATESI has approved Final Safety Analysis Report (FSAR) for B34 project.

NUKEM Technologies GmbH (NUKEM) was contracted by INPP for design and construction of New Solid Waste Retrieval Facility (B2) and New Solid Waste Treatment and Storage Facilities (B34). The project was executed on a turn-key basis and the scope of NUKEM’s supply has covered design (Technical and Detailed), manufacturing and supply of the equipment, construction works, installation and commissioning of the facilities.

The state of the art facilities built by NUKEM are aimed to retrieve, transport, characterise, sort, condition and store the short- and long-lived radioactive solid waste which was accumulated during the operation of INPP and waste being received from decommissioning activities.

To achieve the highest standards of efficiency and safety the Solid Waste Treatment facility (B3) was designed and equipped with the modern innovative solutions: Incineration facility with a cleaning off-gas system supported by monitoring hazardous chemical emissions and radiation monitoring; High Force Compaction system for waste size reduction; Grouting system for immobilization of the waste; Sorting Cells with manipulators, Remotely Operated Vehicles and cranes for segregation and sorting of the waste of different activities. To maintain remote mode of operations all systems are connected by internal transport system using conveyors, lifts, cranes and other equipment. During the operations waste is characterised using HPGe detectors and all data is properly tracked and stored in taylor-made IT data base. It allows to fulfil the waste acceptance criteria (WAC) for a radioactive waste disposal and maintain the information in data base for each container.

The Solid Waste Storage facilities (B4) consist of two intermediate stores – one for short-lived waste which is capable to store about 2500 m³ of waste and another for long-lived waste for storage about 2000 m³.  Both facilities allow the waste packages to be stored for a period of 50 years.

Since end of 2017 the Solid Waste Treatment and Storage Facilities had been operated in a “Hot trials” mode when according to the program agreed with VATESI the radioactive waste was retrieved from the temporary storages of the INPP units, treated, packed and stored in the new storage facilities. Based on successful completion of the program and reached parameters of the Technical Specification of the project during the “Hot trials”, Operational permit was granted to INPP. The Facilities are acknowledged in the industry as a future benchmark and provide the most advanced and safest radioactive waste management infrastructure in the region.

Sergey Molodtsov, Managing Director of NUKEM Technologies GmbH, said: “We are proud that such complex project and one of the biggest Waste Treatment and Storage Facilities for the last years in Europe were put in the industrial operation. It’s a result of excellence teamwork and successful cooperation with INPP, European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Lithuanian authorities, subcontractors and other stakeholders which were involved in the project. The project contributes to the safe and efficient management of radioactive waste and becomes a critical part of infrastructure needed for successful decommissioning of INPP.”

The decommissioning of Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant including new Solid Radioactive Waste Management and Storage Facilities, is financially supported by the Ignalina International Decommissioning Support Fund (IIDSF) managed by the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The IIDSF is funded by the European Community as well as by Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, Norway and Switzerland.

NUKEM Technologies in Karlstein am Main, Germany, is world-wide active in the areas of management of radioactive waste and spent fuel, decommissioning of nuclear facilities, engineering and consulting. For more than 60 years NUKEM Technologies provides high quality products, technologies and services, where Innovation, Solutions and Excellence are closely linked.

Yvonne Amend
NUKEM Technologies Engineering Services GmbH
Zeche Gustav 6, 63791 Karlstein am Main
Tel: +49 6023 91-1321,
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