Nukem shouldn't be in charge of Lithuanian N-plant closure projects - Seimas panel head
Rosatom-controlled Nukem, the contractor for the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant's almost-complete decommissioning projects worth hundreds of millions of euros, should no longer be in charge of these projects, the chairman of the Lithuanian parliament's Committee on National Security and Defence, said.
"I can hardly imagine how Nukem in Lithuania could remain in charge of our strategic facilities," Vytautas Bakas told reporters after the committee's meeting in which the State Security Department informed its members about the INPP decommissioning processes.
"From the point of view of national security, Rosatom's involvement in our key sectors is incomprehensible and incompatible. If the committee votes in favour, if the Seimas votes in favour, perhaps similar decisions will be formalized," he added.
According to Bakas, Lithuania will be able to terminate the contract with Nukem based on a recently-adopted law on strategic enterprises that allows "protecting strategic sectors from contractors we have doubts about" . The law will come into force on March 1.
The chairman of the committee said, among other things, that it was scandalous that nobody in Lithuania protested when Russia's nuclear energy giant Rosatom bought Nukem from Germans.
"Where were our (protest) notes?" he asked rhetorically.
The INPP and Nukem Technologies signed the contact on the plant's key decommissioning projects back in 2005, but it has been repeatedly modified to push back completion deadlines.
Nukem Technologies, jointly with Germany's GNS, built and equipped a 194.4-million-euro interim spent nuclear fuel storage facility five to six years behind schedule and is to complete a 191.7-million-euro solid radioactive waste storage complex this year.
A company controlled by Rosatom purchased Nukem Technologies from Germans in 2009.
The Ignalina plant, which was the first in the world to close Soviet-built RBMK-type reactors that are considered unsafe by the West, is to be fully decommissioned by 2038.