Amendment to the Ignalina Spent Fuel Storage Contract Signed

On May 6th, 2009, in the presence of representatives from the Lithuanian Ministry of Energy, European Commission and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant and the German consortium GNS – NUKEM signed an amendment to the existing contract for the Interim Spent Fuel Storage Facility at the Ignalina NPP site.

Regarding this amendment, operational acceptance of the Storage Facility is now scheduled for March 2011 . Furthermore, the contract was extended to include additional goods and services and modifications which were initially not required. Among other things, this includes an optimized shielding function for the storage building, a new damaged fuel classification system, an additional security system as well as a new rail transporter and road optimization. It also takes account of changes to norms and standards which have taken place since the original signing of the contract.

To date, several important project milestones have been achieved: The Technical Design Documentation and associated Safety Analysis Report were accepted by the Lithuanian Nuclear Regulator (VATESI), site preparatory works has commenced and the soil and site leveling is already complete. Due to the weak soil conditions, improvement of the site is necessary: Approximately 1,700 piles have to be placed; with the current installation rate of 300 per week, the piling is ahead of schedule. Delivery of the GNS CONSTOR® casks began in March 2009 and will continue at a rate of 1 per week. As is required for a Lithuanian nuclear facility, an independent expertiser is currently reviewing the Technical Design Documentation on behalf of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant supported by the consortium. The approval is scheduled for mid July which should allow construction of the main site building to commence on August, 6th 2009 following Permission for Construction.

In January 2005, Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant signed a contract with the German consortium GNS – NUKEM for the design and construction of the Interim Spent Fuel Storage Facility (ISFS) and the delivery of 190 casks. The storage facility is envisaged to store approx. 18,000 fuel assemblies from INPP Reactor Units 1 and 2, the largest of their type in the world. The Contract is financed with the funds of the Ignalina International Decommissioning Support Fund (IIDSF) administered by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The Storage Facility utilises the proven technology of dry long-term storage of spent fuel in metal-and-heavy concrete CONSTORâ casks, similar to those already in use at the existing INPP Storage Facility. The new ISFS will be designed to store spent nuclear fuel for a period of at least 50 years. The safety aspects and equipment of the Storage Facility will comply with the Republic of Lithuania laws and regulations using proven state-of-the-art technology.  

The Spent Fuel Storage Facility at Ignalina is the consortium of GNS and NUKEM´s third spent fuel storage project in Eastern Europe. In the past, the consortium partners have successfully completed a similar project at the Dukovany nuclear power plant in the Czech Republic, where a storage facility for GNS casks was built in the middle of 1990s. Another current project of GNS and NUKEM is the storage of fuel assemblies using CONSTORâ casks at Kozloduy NPP in Bulgaria.

Point of contact

Bea Heinze
Communications Manager
T: +49 6023 91 1549
F: +49 6023 91 1188
E: bea.heinze@