Cold testing of interim storage facility completed at Ignalina

21 June 2016

Cold testing - one of the first stages of the commissioning process - has been completed at the new Interim Spent Fuel Storage Facility (ISFSF) for units 1 and 2 of the shut-down Ignalina nuclear power plant in Lithuania. The work started in January and was completed on 16 June, the plant (SE INPP) announced yesterday.

The cold tests aim to trial the equipment and operational systems, without the use of radioactive waste, to demonstrate their safety and that they meet the design and operation requirements.

Successful completion of cold testing is one of the conditions to obtain an operating licence for the ISFSF from the country's State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate, Vatesi. Receipt of this licence will permit the start of preparations for the final stage of the project - hot testing, which will employ used nuclear fuel. This stage is to start in late September and will take a year to complete, SE INPP said. The ISFSF is to start industrial operations in October 2017.

"The new ISFSF will provide safe and long-term storage for all of the used nuclear fuel from units 1 and 2 that is currently stored in CONSTOR RBMK1500 / M2 dry containers," SE INPP said.

The ISFSF - located about one kilometre from the plant - is to store most of the used fuel that has accumulated over the course of the plant's operation. Some 18,000 RBMK-1500 fuel assemblies from Ignalina units 1 and 2 will be stored in a total of 202 metal and concrete Constor containers at the facility for 50 years.

Known as the B1 Project, the ISFSF is financially supported by the Ignalina International Decommissioning Support Fund (IIDSF) administrated by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The IIDSF is funded by the European Commission as well as by Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News