(Note: the following information was provided by the Country Coordinator for Lithuania)
Lithuania has no nuclear fuel fabrication industry. All the nuclear fuel is supplied by Russia till now. Originally, spent nuclear fuel from Ignalina was to be managed by central Soviet agencies for reprocessing and final disposal of the radioactive waste. However, with the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Lithuania was obliged to find other solutions. Now Ignalina NPP itself manages operational radioactive waste from Ignalina NPP. There are facilities for processing and storage of liquid and solid waste. A repository for low and intermediate level RMI radioactive waste, located at Maišiagala near Vilnius, was in operation since 1963, but in 1989 it was closed. In November 1993, Lithuanian Government approved temporary storage of spent fuel in containers for forty to fifty years until solutions for final conditioning and disposal are found. Interim storage for spent fuel was built in 1999 on the site of Ignalina NPP. Twenty Castor casks and forty Constor casks manufactured by GNB in Germany have been delivered to the Ignalina nuclear power plant site. The spent nuclear fuel can be stored in these casks for 50 years. Previously, all spent nuclear fuel was stored in the water pools next to the reactors. A new Interim Spent Fuel Storage will be built on Ignalina NPP site as a pre-decommissioning project. It is planned to start operation of the first store of Interim Spent Fuel Storage in 2005 and to finish by 2011.
The Ministry of Economy established state enterprise Radioactive Waste Management Agency (RATA) in July 2001 to assume the responsibility for the safe management and final disposal of all radioactive waste. On February 2002 the Government approved the Radioactive Waste Management Strategy and the three-year programme of RATA. In the strategy is foreseen to modernize the management and storage of solid short-lived and long-lived radioactive waste of Ignalina NPP within 2002-2009, to perform necessary investigations and draft recommendations on implementation of a near surface repository for low- and intermediate-level short-lived radioactive waste until 2005.
RATA is an operator of a radioactive waste disposal facility of Radon type near Maišiagala, which was taken over from the Institute of Physics. In March 2003 RATA got a license for managing the institutional radioactive waste. For improving the Maišiagala repository, RATA drafted a project proposal for PHARE program Safety Assessment and Upgrading of Maišiagala Repository in Lithuania. The agreements on implementation of the project are to be signed by November 2004.