Until the end of 2009 Lithuania operated two 1500 MWe RBMK reactors at Ignalina 1-2, which generated 70% of its electricity. Unit 1 was closed in December 2004 and unit 2 was closed at the end of 2009.
The building of a new NPP at Visaginas, near the old site of Ignalina and near the borders with Latvia and Belarus, was one of the major goals of Lithuanian energy strategy, published in 2007. Its start-up is scheduled for 2018.
In April 2009, the environmental impact assessment report for Visaginas was approved. The report determined that the targeted maximum power generation level of 3,400 megawatts is acceptable from an environmental point of view. The reactor technology has not been decided and neither has the number of units. The situation will become clearer when the construction application is submitted.
The government set up a special project organisation, Visagino Atomin Elektrin UAB, which is responsible for the preparation of Visaginas project and which will be attracting potential investors. The negotiations regarding the binding proposals by potential investors should be complete in 2011.
COOPERATION WITH NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES
In February 2006 Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian Premier Ministers signed Declaration and Communiqué declaring inter alia intention to support the initiative to build a new nuclear power plant in Lithuania. In March 2006 three Baltic Energy Companies - Lietuvos Energija AB, Eesti Energija and Latvenergo have signed a memorandum of understanding on Preparation for Construction of a New Nuclear Reactor in Lithuania. Poland will also participate in building a nuclear power plant in Lithuania. The project will probably be co-financed by the Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PSE).
NUCLEAR EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Regarding the Bachelor’s degrees, there are two institutions involved: the Kaunas University of Technology/Kauno Technologijos Universitetas, which offers a degree in Nuclear Energy (Bachelor of Power Engineering) and the University of Vilnius /Vilniaus Universitetas, which offers a degree in Physics of Nuclear Energetics.
The only university offering a Master’s degree in the nuclear field is the Kaunas University of Technology/Kauno Technologijos Universitetas, which offers a degree in Power Engineering. This university also offers the possibility to do a Doctorate degree in the Thermal Engineering Department
Recently, the Lithuanian Energy Institute (LEI), along with other Technical Support Organizations (TSOs) has created the European Nuclear Safety Training and Tutoring Institute (ENSTTI), which offers several training courses.
Although there is not a wide choice of courses in the nuclear field, there are research activities being carried out at the following institutions: the Lithuanian Energy Institute/Lietuvos Energetikos Institutas with its nuclear departments (Laboratory of Nuclear Engineering, Laboratory of Nuclear Installation Safety and the Lithuanian International Nuclear Safety Center), the Radiation Protection Center/Radiacines Saugos Centras, and the universities, Kaunas University of Technology/Kauno Technologijos Universitetas, in particularly its Department of Thermal and Nuclear Energy, the Institute of Physics of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences/Lietuvos Mokslu Akademija and the Vilnius University/Vilniaus Universitetas.
Finally, the Lithuanian Nuclear Energetics Association/Lietuvos Branduolines Energetikos Asociacija has a special interest in the consolidation of the nuclear knowledge