Salaspils NRR

Salaspils Nuclear Research Reactor in Latvia  – decommissioned

The reactor was operational from 1969 to July 1998. The plant partook in neutron activation analysis and gamma irradiation for various materials. It was a pool-type reactor. In May 1995, the Latvian government decided to shut down the Research Reactor Salaspils (SRR) and to dispense with nuclear energy in future.

The IRT research reactor in Salaspils site near the capital of Latvia – Riga was put into operation in September 1961. The research reactor was originally built according to former USSR design as a pool-type light water-water reactor with nominal thermal power 2 MW. Since 1975, after physical reconstruction of the reactor, the nominal thermal power of the reactor was increased up to 5 MW. On 16 May 1995, the Cabinet of Ministers had made the order to shut down SRR and requested to start the preparation of a concept for decommissioning.

The relevant technical co-operation project on decommissioning the research reactor was submitted to IAEA for 1997/1998. There were 5 expert missions from IAEA from July 1997 until June 1998. The conclusion was made, that the total decommissioning and dismantling costs would amount to ECU[1] 17-20 millions.

The following budget plan (price base 1998) statements for the decommissioning and dismantling of SRR were made:

  • The annual costs at the beginning of the decommissioning and dismantling project (1999-2000) were comparatively low and amounted to approximately ECU 700,000.00 per year;
  • The costs during the licensing phase are higher and amount to approximately ECU 1,940,000.00 in 2001 and ECU 2,780,000.00 in 2002.
  • The highest annual investments of approximately ECU 5,560,000,00 are required in 2003, when the necessary additional equipment (fuel handling, waste treatment) will be delivered and the modifications at SRR have to be done.
  • Subsequently, the annual costs decrease to approximately ECU 3,056,000.00 in 2004 (main tasks are the delivery of the transport and storage casks and the execution of the fuel reloading).
  • The annual costs during the final dismantling period amounts to approximately ECU 850,000.00 in the years 2005 to 2008 and were covered by Latvian side.

Irradiated nuclear fuel of Salaspils research reactor in Latvia has been delivered to the Production Association Mayak in Russia. The enterprise’s press service reports the train load of spent nuclear fuel arrived at Mayak on May 15 2008. The delivery was arranged for in an agreement between Russia and Latvia regarding repatriation of spent nuclear fuel of the research reactor shutdown in Salaspils.

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