The Lithuania-based Ignalina nuclear power plant (INPP) has begun the hot trial phase of a solid radioactive waste management and storage facility (SWMSF) built by Nukem Technologies.
Radioactive materials have been used in the trial, which seeks to verify that the SWMSF performance complies with the technical specification.
The trial represents an important step forward in the decommissioning process, which is managed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
The test began after the company received an operating license from the state regulator VATESI for the facility.
INPP's director general Darius Janulevicius said: “As a result of the huge dedication and competence of all parties involved, we can mark today the achievement of an important milestone in the construction of this modern, radioactive waste management and storage facility.”
INPP’s facility has been designed to meet new regulatory requirements of Lithuania, the EU, and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recommendations.
The SWMSF has seen an investment of around €200m and construction has been financed through the EBRD-managed Ignalina International Decommissioning Support Fund (IIDSF).
The facility will provide INPP with the means to retrieve, characterise, sort, transport, pack, and store the short and long-lived radioactive solid waste accumulated both during plant operation and decommissioning.
Image: Ignalina nuclear power plant in Lithuania. Photo: courtesy of EBRD.