NUKEM and GNS inform about projects in Lithuania
The German company NUKEM Technologies GmbH is currently working at the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant on two projects financed by the Ignalina International Decommissioning Support Fund administered by the EBRD.
An important milestone on the project roadmap was reached recently, when the technical design documents as well as the safety analysis reports and environmental assessment reports were handed over for both projects.
Firstly, in a consortium with the German company GNS Gesellschaft für Nuklear-Service mbH, an interim spent fuel storage facility is being set up for the storage of 18,000 spent fuel elements. The contract was signed in January 2005. The interim storage facility has been designed for an operating period of at least 50 years. The spent fuel elements are stored in CONSTOR®/M2 casks, each of which holds 182 half fuel elements. The metal-and-heavy concrete CONSTOR® casks are designed according to international regulations and GNS has been delivering them to Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant for more than ten years. The equipment and safety features of the facility are based on internationally proven technologies and comply with both Lithuanian and European Union regulations. The site commissioning date of October 2008 originally planned is at the moment delayed by about ten months. Both contracting parties – the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant and the consortium NUKEM – GNS are working intensively on a mutually acceptable solution to shorten the delay.
In the second project, NUKEM is the general contractor for the turnkey construction of a waste treatment center for solid radioactive waste. So far, solid waste from the nuclear power plant operation has been stored on the power plant site. Modern waste management requires this waste to be treated in order to reduce its volume and bind the radioactivity it contains. NUKEM is designing and building the plants necessary for these waste treatment processes such as retrieval and sorting devices; conditioning lines such as cementing, high-force compaction and incineration lines; as well as storage equipment. Although the project is currently slightly behind schedule, the completion deadline for the handover of the waste treatment center at the end of 2009 should be met.
For both projects, a notable share of the work is assigned to Lithuanian companies. Already, Lithuanian companies including Lithuanian Energy Institute, Pramprojektas and Gidroprojektas are cooperating on the projects. In mid-2007, NUKEM will organize invitations for tenders for the construction part of both projects in close cooperation with the customer.
The interim storage facility in Ignalina is the third joint project between NUKEM and GNS. A similar project has been operating successfully since mid 1990s at the Czech nuclear power plant Dukovany, and another similiar project is currently underway at the Bulgarian nuclear power plant Kosluduy.
In the radioactive waste treatment sector, NUKEM has a market share of more than 50 percent in Eastern Europe. In the past few years, waste treatment centers have been built and put into operation at the Russian nuclear power plants Balakowo and Kola as well as at the Slovakian nuclear power plant Bohunice. A further center will be put into operation at the Leningrad nuclear power station in 2007.