Lithuanian Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant awarded the Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Contract to German companies in Consortium GNS-RWE NUKEM


On the 12th January 2005 Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant signed a contract with the German Consortium GNS - RWE NUKEM for design and construction of an Interim Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility (SNFS) which will be used to store approx. 18 000 fuel assemblies from both INPP Reactor Units. The Contract is financed with the proceeds of the Ignalina International Decommissioning Support Fund (IIDSF) administered by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and has a value of Euro 92,7 million. "This is a key project for Ignalina NPP. Construction of the new Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility will enable timely implementation of one of the major milestones in Reactor Unit 1 decommissioning process." - said Victor Shevaldin, the General Director of INPP. The Consortium GNS - RWE NUKEM is a joint venture partnership of the two German companies GNS Gesellschaft für Nuklear-Service mbH and RWE NUKEM GmbH. The Consortium was awarded the Contract after a two-stage competitive open Tender for design and construction of the new Spent Nuclear Fuel Facility. The Tendering Process was conducted by Ignalina NPP in accordance with EBRD Procurement Policies and Rules. The Storage Facility proposed by the Consortium utilizes the technology of dry long-term storage of spent fuel in metal-and-heavy concrete CONSTOR casks, similar to those used at the existing INPP Storage Facility. The new SNFS will be designed to store spent nuclear fuel for a period of at least 50 years. Commissioning of the first stage of SNFS for 3500 Spent Fuel Assemblies is scheduled for September 2008 whereas the completion of the complete SNFS is scheduled for 2010. The safety and equipment of the Storage Facility shall comply with up-to-date requirements of the European Union and the Republic of Lithuania using well-established and understood technology. Physical protection (security) systems will be state-of-the-art. The scope of the Contractor's tasks includes design, preparation of licensing documentation, manufacturing and delivery of equipment, construction, installation, testing and commissioning of the Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility for a capacity of approx. 18.000 fuel assemblies and the delivery of 39 CONSTOR casks. Included in the contract is an option for the delivery of additional 163 casks, which will cover the total need for the storage of the fuel assemblies. The option can be executed until 31st March 2006. The Spent Fuel Storage Facility at Ignalina is GNS and RWE NUKEM´s third common spent fuel storage project in Eastern Europe. Jointly both partners had been responsible for a similar project at the Dukovany nuclear power plant in the Czech Republic, where a storage for CASTOR casks was built in the middle of 1990ies and a project, received last year, for the storage of fuel assemblies at Kozloduy NPP/Bulgaria, where the fuel elements will be stored in CONSTOR casks. The casks which will be delivered under the signed contract are modified as compared with the already delivered casks. The modified design brings advantages for all parties, because small changes in the dimensions but a modified cask construction material will bring a 80% higher storage capacity for each cask. This higher storage quantity is achieved by the accommodation of two baskets: the inner basket provided by INPP having a capacity of 102 fuel bundles and the outer ring basket with a capacity of 80 fuel bundles. The fuel bundles from the inner basket will be loaded into the outer ring basket under water at the reactor pool. That means that no additional waste will be produced and no further investments by the power plant for additional baskets are necessary. A further aspect is that the consortium has foreseen to involve Lithuanian companies up to approx. 75% of the contract value. From the INPP side the SNFS Project is managed by INPP Decommissioning Service, Project Management Unit.

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