Ignalina unit 1 clear of used fuel

13 May 2021

Unit 1 of the Ignalina nuclear power plant (INPP) in Lithuania is empty of all fuel, following the transportation on 11 May of the final container with damaged used nuclear fuel to a temporary storage facility.

(Image: INPP)

Damaged fuel management work at the unit began in September 2020, and last month the last 16 damaged fuel assemblies were processed and placed in a special container for their shipment. In total, the damaged fuel will fill 22 containers out of 190 stored at the temporary storage facility.

"Damaged fuel management is a first-time, technologically complex and time-consuming process, so it is particularly gratifying that the professional and coordinated work of our staff allowed us to successfully complete the transportation of fuel from unit 1 and start handling damaged fuel at unit 2 two weeks earlier," said INPP Director General Audrius Kamienas. "This is an invaluable experience and an important stage in the entire INPP radioactive waste management process," he added.

After transporting damaged fuel management system equipment from unit 1 to unit 2 on 5 May, the first two of 189 damaged fuel assemblies had been treated. All damaged fuel management work is planned to be completed in October 2022.

The safety of the damaged fuel management process in terms of nuclear and radiation safety, impact on personnel, the population and the environment, is ensured by appropriate measures, INPP said.

Lithuania agreed to shut down Ignalina units 1 and 2 as a condition of its accession to the European Union. Unit 1 was shut down in December 2004 and unit 2 in December 2009.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News