Preparatory works for the demolition of the structures of the Maišiagala Radioactive Waste Storage Facility, including the construction and installation of temporary structures

Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant

On 29 December 2023 Ekobana UAB (Vilnius, Lithuania) has implemented preparatory works for the demolition of the structures of the Maišiagala Radioactive Waste Storage Facility (hereinafter - RWSF), including the construction and installation of temporary structures, as part of the project "Decommissioning of the Maišiagala radioactive waste storage facility".

Due to its specific nature, it is a rare and complex project. At every stage - design, construction, operation - strict radiation monitoring is carried out. The site used high quality technological equipment, almost all systems were automated and conditions were created to maximise the remote retrieval of the waste, without direct human contact with the waste.

About the Maišiagala Radioactive Waste Storage Facility

The Maišiagala RWSF in Lithuania is a complex of underground storage tanks for liquid and solid contaminated waste. From 1963 to 1989, the repository was used to store spent and unsorted sealed sources of ionising radiation and radioactive waste from industrial plants, healthcare and scientific institutions and military units. The repository was closed and conserved in 1989.

Such repositories were built in many parts of the former Soviet Union and Eastern European countries. The Maišiagala RWSF was decided to be closed because it did not meet modern environmental requirements.

Decommissioning project

The removal of radioactive waste from the Maišiagala RWSF and the transfer of its territory to uncontrolled use was foreseen in the Development Programme for Radioactive Waste Management approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. The successful implementation of the project is important to ensure a high level of nuclear and radiation safety and environmental protection in the management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste.

The purpose of the Maišiagala RWSF decommissioning project is to prepare the infrastructure for the safe retrieval of radioactive waste and to acquire equipment, materials and machinery for the retrieval of radioactive waste and its transport to the permanent storage site - the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant storage facilities.

Ekobana UAB - general contractor

The preparatory works for the Maišiagala RWSF, including the construction and installation of temporary structures, have been completed and waste retrieval started in December 2023.

Ekobana UAB, the general contractor for this project, prepared the detailed design and carried out the preparatory and construction works, which included:

  • dismantling of existing networks and engineering structures (as required);
  • the construction and installation of temporary structures, including the construction and installation of a structure of exceptional significance over the existing underground solid radioactive waste storage facility, a personnel sanitary control station and other ancillary structures;
  • the installation of external and internal engineering systems: radiation control; electrical and automation; water supply and sewage disposal; fire safety and alarm; heating, ventilation and air conditioning;
  • installation of access roads and parking areas;
  • the supply of radiation monitoring equipment, lifting mechanisms (gantry crane and load grippers), other equipment and materials for the removal of radioactive waste.

Ekobana UAB prepared test programmes and, after the completion of construction, together with the client, carried out the operational tests of the facility in two phases: the first phase without the retrieval of radioactive waste; the second phase with the retrieval of part of the radioactive waste and its transport to the permanent repository.

The facility is now successfully in operation. The contaminated waste will be removed from the site as soon as possible and the site will be released for uncontrolled use.

We invite you to cooperate

Ekobana UAB is pleased with the results of this important project. It has created the most favourable conditions for the removal of radioactive waste, protecting the environment from hazardous contamination. Although Ekobana UAB, as the general contractor, has already completed part of the work on this project, it is still working with the client, providing support services and advice as required.

Ekobana UAB invites you to contact the company's specialists and implement the projects together. The experience of the Maišiagala RWSF decommissioning project will be useful for other projects of a similar nature, requiring additional safety measures.