Last week I attended the European Commission-sponsored Euradwaste conference in Pitesti, Romania, where a presentation on decommissioning Ignalina was made by scientists (Prof. Poskas & Dr Narkunas) from the nuclear engineering laboratory of the Lithuanian Energy Institute in Kaunas, the nation’s second city after capital Vilnius. Their work has been on assessing and modelling the distribution of radioactive carbon-14, in the very high stack of graphite blocks around the reactor core prior to dismantling. This suggests that even though Ms Rekasiute feels the Lithuanian government “mainly pretends” the adjoining company city of Visaginas “isn’t there”, the government in Vilnius is seriously trying to find safe ways to dismantle the plant using the trained local workforce. The experience gained will certainly prove useful to the UK, which has several reactors either already closed, or close to closure, such as the troubled Hunterson reactors near Glasgow, where hundreds of cracks have been discovered in the graphite core.
David Lowry’s Blog 13th June 2019 read more »