Authorities have chosen a site for a building a repository for low and medium-level radioactive waste after years of debate and wrangling.
The town of Stabatiske, which is closer to the Ignalina nuclear plant than other potential sites, has been given the dubious honours, not least of all because neighbouring countries objected to all the other sites, all of which are in north-eastern Lithuania.
The new waste site is necessary as part of the decommissioning of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant in late 2009.
Deciding on the site was an arduous process and required over three years. “In other countries, discussions about this type of facilities go on for as long as decades due to social problems. We managed to do this work in three to four years,” Dainius Janenas, head of the Radioactive Waste Management Agency, was quoted as saying.
Planning and designing of the first nuclear waste repository is to begin this year, the lrt.lt online news site has reported.
Under the plan, construction on the repository, which will be designed to hold 100,000 cubic meters of waste and will cover an area of 40 hectares, is to begin in five years’ time. The first concrete vaults should be filled with radioactive waste in 2016.
Burying the radioactive waste will cost an estimated 400 - 800 million litas (116 - 232 million euros). The funds should come from the European Union.