(updated on Dec. 2006)[1]




1.1.  General Overview

The Republic of Lithuania is situated on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, in central Europe. Lithuania is bordered by Latvia in the north, Belarus in the east, Poland in the south, Kaliningrad Region of the Russian Federation in the southwest and the Baltic Sea in the west. Lithuania has an area of 65 303 square kilometres. The capital is Vilnius.

Lithuania is situated in a temperate climate zone. The average annual air temperature in Lithuania is 4.9 degrees C, with 17.0 degrees C in summer and -6.5 degrees C in winter. There are noticeable east-west weather variations. The western part, mostly influenced by the Baltic Sea, is characterized by the smallest temperature variations. The eastern part, where the Ignalina NPP is situated, has colder and longer winters and warmer but shorter summers. Western and south-western winds predominate.

The average annual amount of precipitation is 638 mm. About 70% of the precipitation takes place during the warm period of the year (April - October). The minimum relative humidity (53 - 63%) is in June and the maximum (exceeding 90%) in January.

Information about population is given in Table 1. The steady growth of the population (about 0.9% a year) in the period 1970 to 1990, primarily caused by influx of people from other Soviet republics, was abruptly stopped in 1991 and a period of slow decrease, caused mostly by the outflow, followed. The population slightly exceeded 3.7 million in the period from 1990 to 2000. Number of population started to decrease from 2000 and dropped to 3.4 million in 2005.















Population (millions)











Population density (inhabitants/km2)











Urban Population as % of total











Area (1000 km)2               65.2


Source: Country Information

The historical data on gross domestic product are shown in Table 2. Lithuanian market was growing steadily during the last six years.














GDP (millions of current US$)










(millions of constant 1990 US$)










GDP per capita
(current US$/capita)










Source: Country Information


  Estimated energy reserves in (*) (Solid and Liquid in million tons, Uranium in metric tons, Gas in billion cubic metres, Hydro in TWhr per year)
  Solid (1) Liquid (2) Gas (3) Uranium (4) Hydro (5)
Amount .. 64,000 .. .. 2,000

(*) Sources: 20th WEC Survey of Energy Resources, 2004 and Uranium 2005: Resources, Production and Demand ("Red Book")
(1) Coal including Lignite: proved recoverable reserves, the tonnage within the proved amount in place that can be recovered in the future under present and expected local economic conditions with existing available technology
(2) Crude oil and natural gas liquids (Oil Shale, Natural Bitumen and Extra-Heavy Oil are not included): proved recoverable reserves, the quantity within the proved amount in place that can be recovered in the future under present and expected local economic conditions with existing available technology
(3) Natural gas: proved recoverable reserves, the volume within the proved amount in place that can be recovered in the future under present and expected local economic conditions with existing available technology
(4) Reasonably Assured Resources (RAR) under < USD 130/kgU
(5) Hydropower: technically exploitable capability, the amount of the gross theoretical capability that can be exploited within the limits of current technology
Source: IAEA Energy and Economic Database

Table 4 shows historical energy statistics. Fig. 1 shows the share of the primary energy sources in the corresponding energy consumption and Fig. 2 - the share of the various sectors in final energy demand.


Basic Energy Situation
(Energy values are in Exajoule exept where indicated)
Annual Average
Growth Rate (%)
Total Energy Requirements 1970 1980 1990 2000 2006 1990 to 2000 2000 to 2006
Total .. .. 0.13 0.31 0.35 9.06 1.90
Solids .. .. .. < 0.01 0.01 .. 19.08
Liquids .. .. .. 0.09 0.09 .. 0.71
Gases .. .. .. 0.10 0.11 .. 2.71
Hydro .. .. < 0.01 < 0.01 < 0.01 4.53 3.75
Nuclear .. .. 0.17 0.09 0.09 -6.04 0.45
Combustible Renewables &amp; Waste .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Other Renewables and Waste .. .. -0.04 0.03 0.03 ? 2.73
Final Energy Consumption 1970 1980 1990 2000 2006 1990 to 2000 2000 to 2006
Total .. .. 0.04 0.15 0.19 13.05 4.15
Solids .. .. .. 0.02 0.02 .. 5.76
Liquids .. .. .. 0.05 0.06 .. 2.50
Gases .. .. .. 0.03 0.04 .. 7.25
Electricity .. .. 0.04 0.02 0.03 -6.40 5.27
Other .. .. .. 0.03 0.04 .. 2.22
Combustible Renewables &amp; Waste .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Other .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Net Energy Balance (Export-Import) 1970 1980 1990 2000 2006 1990 to 2000 2000 to 2006
Total .. .. -0.043 0.190 0.230 ? 3.21
Solids .. .. .. 0.004 0.012 .. 19.99
Liquids .. .. .. 0.086 0.093 .. 1.22
Gases .. .. .. 0.097 0.115 .. 2.89
Combustible Renewables &amp; Waste .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Other Renewables and Waste .. .. -0.043 0.002 0.009 ? 27.96
IAEA Energy and Economic Data Bank,2009




fig. 1

Source: Country Information

FIG. 1. Energy consumption (EJ)


fig. 2

Source: Country Information

FIG. 2. Energy production in 2005

1.2.  Energy Policy

The supreme legislative body of the Republic of Lithuania is Seimas (Parliament). Seimas has a number of standing committees on most sectors and some commissions for resolving short-term or limited assignments. In reference with decision to close Ignalina NPP, commission on the Problems of Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant in the Seimas was established.

The Government is responsible for establishment of rules for the use of energy and energy resources. It is also responsible for establishing procedures for new state or privately owned enterprises, joint ventures and foreign owned companies in the power sector.

Newly revised Energy Law of the Republic of Lithuania came into force on July 1, 2002 and regulates general energy activities (covers electrical power, district heating, oil, natural gas, coal, local fuel and renewable energy recourses), the basic principles of energy development and management, effective use of the energy and energy recourses. According to this Law, the Ministry of Economy is responsible for preparing the National Energy Strategy, which defines strategic objectives of the Lithuanian energy sector for a period of 20 years and should be updated every five years. The Strategy is approved by Seimas.

The Seimas approved the new edition of the National Energy Strategy of Lithuania on 10 October 2002, which includes national energy development directives taking into consideration that the first power Unit of Ignalina NPP will be shut down before 2005 (Unit 1 was shut down on 31 December 2004), and the second Unit - in 2009, accordingly.

The National Energy Strategy is aimed for ensuring reliable, secure and environmentally-friendly energy supply at minimum costs, steady increasing the effectiveness of the energy, liberalising electricity and natural gas sectors, and opening the market according to the requirements laid down in the EU directives, privatising natural gas supply/distribution and electricity supply enterprises that can be privatised, continuing privatisation of oil refining and transportation enterprises, preparing for the decommissioning of Ignalina NPP. The document also covers disposal of radioactive waste and long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel, integrating Lithuanian energy systems into the energy systems of European Union, and further developing regional cooperation in order to create common electrical power system in the Baltic States. In addition it is planned to achieve that the share of the electricity generated in the co-generation plants would account for at least 35% of the electricity generation balance at the end of the period, and the share of renewable energy resources would account of up to 12% in the total primary energy balance by 2010.

The promotion to produce electricity from renewable and waste energy sources and purchase of such electricity allows projecting a possibility of reducing greenhouse gas emissions due to the wider use of renewable energy sources. Electricity production forecasts given within the economic analysis of the electricity sector and the difference between greenhouse gas emission from natural gas and heavy fuel oil allow projecting a possibility of reducing greenhouse gas emissions due to the development of co-generation as provided in the Strategy.

The National Energy Strategy states that, with a view to remaining a nuclear energy state in the future and generating electricity in nuclear power plants complying with modern safety requirements, Lithuania will legally, financially and politically support investments in the construction of a new unit or reactor with the use of the existing infrastructure at the Ignalina NPP.

When updating the Strategy account has been taken of significant changes in the economy and energy sector, experience gained and information required for the planning and forecasting of the development of individual energy sectors, and plans for the energy sector development in Lithuania and neighbouring countries as well as global trends in the area of environmental protection and market liberalisation.

On September 2005 Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania suggested Government to update National Energy Strategy by the third quarter of 2006 taking into account:

  1. the provisions of current National Energy Strategy, emphasising that the strategy for the development of the Lithuanian power sector is based on the continuity and development of the safe nuclear energy;
  2. the Programme of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania for 2004-2008 in which an undertaking is made to seek that Lithuania would remain a state with nuclear power generating facilities and to attract investment for the construction of new nuclear reactors;
  3. the results of the Study on the Continuity of Nuclear Energy Consumption in Lithuania, drawn up in 2004;
  4. works performed and planned to be performed integrating Lithuania’s energy networks in the EU energy system.

The Lithuanian Seimas ratified United Nations Convention on Climate Change in February 1995 and Kyoto Protocol in November 2002. In this connection, Lithuania, as EU member, has undertaken to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions in the period 2008-2012 to, on average, 8% below the level in the so-called base year, which is 1990 for CO2, methane and nitrous oxide, and 1990 or 1995 for industrial greenhouse gas. Strategies for separate environment protection sectors have already been prepared and numerous laws have been adopted for the application of economic environmental measures in Lithuania.

At present Lithuania fulfils requirements of the Kyoto Protocol. Energy production, energy consumption and fossil fuels consumption have decreased dramatically since year 1990. Fast economical grow during the last few years was not related with increase of energy production and consumption. However, closure of Ignalina NPP is already settled and it will strongly impact the release of CO2. IAEA study on Energy supply options and security in the Baltic region states, that CO2 emissions will increase by 4.0 Mt if replacement capacity comes from a new combined cycle gas turbine or by 5.5 Mt if it comes from the modernisation of the Lithuanian thermal power plants (basic economic growth scenario).

1.3.  The Electricity System

1.3.1.  Policy and decision making process - including planning the electricity system

Revised version of the Law on Electricity entered into force on 10 July 2004. It establishes the basic principles regulating the generation, transmission, distribution, and supply of electricity in the Republic of Lithuania, the relations between providers of electricity services and their customers as well as the conditions promoting competition in the electricity sector. The provisions of this Law have been harmonised with the legal acts of the European Union.

The main objectives of the Law on Electricity are establishment of the rights, responsibilities of and mutual relations between the entities in the electricity sector; development of a legal framework for the functioning of competition based electricity market and establishment of fair competition between producers and suppliers; ensuring and promoting efficiency in the production, transmission, distribution and consumption of electricity; ensuring safe and reliable operation of electricity system, electricity generation, transmission and distribution; ensuring public service obligations and establishing reasonable, comprehensive and transparent requirements and obligations in the electricity sector; promotion of the internal electricity market and electricity export, modernisation of technical facilities for implementation of the market, and development of easy-to-understand and transparent energy pricing; creating favourable conditions for investments in the electricity sector; promotion of environmentally friendly technologies in generation, transmission and distribution of electricity.

The electricity sector is regulated by the Government and National Control Commission for Prices and Energy. Government or an body authorised by it shall formulate and implement the state policy; co-operate with foreign state electricity institutions and represent, within the limits of its competence, the Republic of Lithuania in international organisations; draw up the list of public service obligations; set the requirements for electricity supply security and service quality; set the expected time for connecting consumers’ equipment to the system and of electricity supply restoration; issue licences (authorizations) for provision of electricity services; establish for all suppliers uniform conditions for importing electricity.

The National Control Commission for Prices and Energy is responsible for ensuring effective competition in the electricity market, non-discrimination of customers and suppliers and provision of all customers with services of established quality. The Commission shall control: compliance with the rules for the management of inter-connections and allocation and regulation of interconnection capacity; the time taken by transmission and distribution undertakings to make connections of consumers’ equipment to the system and to restore electricity supply; public provision by transmission and distribution system operators of appropriate information concerning inter-connections, grid usage and capacity allocation to interested parties; the effective unbundling of accounts with a view to avoiding cross-subsidies between generation, transmission, distribution and supply activities; the terms, conditions and tariffs for connecting new producers of electricity to guarantee that these are objective, transparent and non-discriminatory, in particular taking full account of the costs and benefits of the various renewable energy sources technologies, distributed generation and combined heat and power; the level of transparency and competition, monitoring of the security of supply and service quality.

1.3.2.  Structure of electric power sector - generation, transmission and distribution network

Electric power in Lithuania is generated of Ignalina NPP, Lithuanian PP, CH plants, Kruonis HPSP, wind power plants, Kaunas HPP other HP plants. Ignalina NPP produced about 70% of the total electricity generated in Lithuania in 2005.

The main company in the electricity sector of Lithuania is joint-stock company Lietuvos energija, which is functioning as the owner of electricity transmission grid (110-330 kV), system operator and the market operator. The company maintains and develops the transmission system; ensures a balance between electricity production and consumption as well as electricity transmission from Lithuania’s power plants to its distribution companies; co-ordinates the operation of Lithuania’s power plants to guarantee reliable electricity supply to consumers; together with neighbouring power systems, is involved in electricity export, import and transit; organizes trade in electricity. Lietuvos Energija sells power for two regional network utilities: joint-stock companies Rytu Skirstomieji Tinklai and Vakaru Skirstomieji Tinklai who, in turn, distribute and sell it to the end users locally and abroad. Lietuvos Energija exports electricity to Latvia, Estonia, Belarus and Russia (Kaliningrad region).

The national transmission system in Lithuania comprises 330 kV and 110 kV grids, which connects all power stations to the load centres throughout Lithuania. Electricity export interconnections already exist with Latvia, Belarus and Kaliningrad region. At present, there is no power interconnection with the neighbouring Polish energy system and no direct connection with the power systems of Scandinavian countries.

Study concerning connection electricity transmission grids of the Lithuania and Poland was approved in 2003. Negotiations concerning implementation of this project took place recently. Poland is expected to invite Lithuania to renew the negotiation process after having formulated its own position on the connection-related issues.

Lithuania’s integration to the EU, closer cooperation with other Baltic and Scandinavian countries as well as the situation in demand and generating capacities require changes in the national electricity structure. Joint efforts by the three Baltic States are needed to develop the electricity transmission network development strategy and measure plans for its implementation, as well as to design the sequence for actions and sources of finance.

Project on the connection electricity transmission grids of the Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland was started in 2004. Construction of 350 MW capacity electricity cable has to be completed in late 2006 (Nord Energy Link). It will allow for our consumers and producers participate in electricity market of Scandinavian countries.

Preliminary feasibility study concerning connection of the Lithuanian and Swedish electricity grids with cable capacity of 700 MW was carried out in 2005. At present terms of reference for carrying out a detailed feasibility study for implementation of the project are being drafted. This electricity transmission line should be constructed before the end of 2009.

1.3.3.  Main indicators

Table 5 shows the electricity production and capacity and Table 6 - energy related ratios.


Electricity Situation Annual Average
Growth Rate (%)
Electricity Generation 1970 1980 1990 2000 2006 1990 to 2000 2000 to 2006
Total .. .. 26.30 11.42 12.48 -8.00 1.49
Nuclear .. .. 15.70 8.42 8.65 -6.04 0.45
Hydro .. .. 0.41 0.64 0.80 4.53 3.75
Geothermal .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Wind .. .. .. 0.00 0.01 .. ..
Other renewables .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Thermal .. .. 10.18 2.36 3.01 -13.59 4.15
Installed Capacity 1970 1980 1990 2000 2006 1990 to 2000 2000 to 2006
Total .. .. 5.30 5.72 4.56 0.76 -3.69
Nuclear .. .. 2.73 2.37 1.19 -1.42 -10.83
Hydro .. .. 0.10 0.86 0.88 24.69 0.27
Geothermal .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Wind .. .. .. .. < 0.01 .. ..
Other renewables .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Thermal .. .. 2.48 2.49 2.49 0.04 0.06




Derived Indicators Annual Average
Growth Rate (%)
  1970 1980 1990 2000 2006 1990 to 2000 2000 to 2006
Energy consumption per capita (GJ/capita) .. .. .. 88.2 101.8 .. 2.43
Electricity per capita (KW.h/capita) .. .. .. 3,264.0 3,677.7 .. 2.01
Nuclear/Total electricity (%) .. .. 59.7 73.7 69.3 2.13 -1.02
Annual capacity factor - Total (%) .. .. 56.6 22.8 31.2 -8.69 5.37
Annual capacity factor - Thermal (%) .. .. 47.0 10.8 13.8 -13.63 4.09
Annual capacity factor - Hydro (%) .. .. 49.6 8.5 10.4 -16.17 3.47
Annual capacity factor - Nuclear (%) .. .. 65.6 40.6 83.0 -4.69 12.65
Annual capacity factor - Wind (%) .. .. .. .. 159.8 .. ..
Annual capacity factor - Geothermal (%) .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Annual capacity factor - Other renewables (%) .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

Source: IAEA Energy and Economic Database; Country Information.


2.1.  Historical Development and current nuclear power organizational structure

2.1.1.  Overview

The decision to build a nuclear power plant for electricity supply to the Baltic States, Belarus and Kaliningrad was made by the former government of the Soviet Union at the beginning of the seventies. After the formal agreement of the Lithuanian Government, the site on the shore of Drukšiai lake near the borders of Lithuania, Latvia and Belarus was selected. Construction of the first Unit of the Ignalina NPP commenced in April 1978, the second Unit followed in April 1980, and the third Unit in 1985. The town of Visaginas (formerly named Snieckus) was built for the workers of the Ignalina NPP. The first Unit was commissioned in December 1983 and shut down in December 2004. The second Unit was commissioned in August 1987. The former USSR suspended construction of the third unit in August 1988 and in November 1993, after Western expertise, the Lithuanian Government decided to discontinue the construction of it.

The first Unit was commissioned in December 1983 and the second in August 1987. In August 1988, the former USSR Council of Ministers suspended the construction of the third Unit. In November 1993 the Lithuanian Government decided to abandon the construction of Unit 3 and dismantle the existing structure. In 1999 political decision was made to close first Unit of Ignalina NPP before 2005, in 2002 - to close second Unit in 2009.

2.1.2.  Current Organizational Chart(s)

See Fig. 3 of interaction between governmental and regulatory bodies and Ignalina NPP.

figure 3

Source: Country Information

FIG. 3. Organizational Chart of interaction between regulatory bodies and Ignalina NPP


2.2.  Nuclear Power Plants: Status and Operations

The following state institutions and bodies are involved in nuclear power related activities:

The Ministry of Economy implements state policy in the sphere of nuclear energy; develops nuclear energy infrastructure in the Republic of Lithuania; exercises the rights and duties of a participant of the operators of nuclear facilities; organises nuclear accident prevention; organises bilateral and multilateral international co-operation in the sphere of nuclear energy; represents the Republic of Lithuania in international nuclear energy organisations and at conferences; supports research and development activities.

The Ministry of Economy has one department related with nuclear energy, which contains of two divisions. The Nuclear Energy Division supervises the nuclear energy sector and is responsible for the preparation of regulatory acts governing nuclear energy and for co-ordination of assistance for nuclear safety improvements. The Ignalina NPP Decommissioning Division was established in 2001 in connection with the early closure of the Ignalina NPP. The task of the Division is supervision of the Ignalina NPP decommissioning sector and preparation of legal acts governing of the decommissioning and radioactive waste management. The Ministry of Economy also has a Strategic Goods Export Control Division, which is responsible for the issue of licences for the export, import and transit of nuclear, radioactive and other materials used in nuclear technology, nuclear equipment and dual-use items.

Lithuanian Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate (VATESI) implements state regulation of nuclear safety, accounting for and control of nuclear materials in the sphere of nuclear energy. Prime Minister of Lithuania appoints the Head of VATESI. VATESI is independent of other institutions and reports directly to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. According to the Nuclear Energy Law, VATESI is shall: approve technical regulations of the design and construction of nuclear facilities together with the Ministry of the Environment; approve standards and rules of operation of nuclear facilities, standards and rules of storage of radioactive materials used in nuclear energy and disposal of their waste and establish the procedure for drafting of standards and rules; control the compliance with the requirements stipulated in licences, safety regulations and standards; carry out state supervision of the accounting for and control of nuclear materials; inform the mass media about the radiation and safety situation in nuclear facilities; prepare surveys on the safety of nuclear facilities and submit them to the Government, local authorities and other bodies concerned; organise and support research into and expert analysis of nuclear safety and radiation protection, independently carry out the analysis of incidents and occurrences at nuclear facilities; co-ordinate and control preventive measures for the staff and the population in the event of a nuclear facility accident, monitor the state of nuclear accident preparedness of the facility; impose sanctions established in statutory acts on violators of safety rules; organise bilateral and multilateral international co-operation in the sphere of nuclear safety and radiation protection. VATESI consists of five principal divisions for: Nuclear material control, Decommissioning and radiation protection, Licensing, On-site and Safety assessment.

The Ministry of Health shall draft and approve regulatory acts and rules on the health of the personnel of nuclear facilities and the residents of the monitored zones of the facility and control compliance thereof; undertake environmental health studies of radiation impact on people and their environment and establish health protection requirements; co-ordinate the sitting of nuclear facilities and undertake state environmental health analysis of their construction; take part in the acceptance of the constructed or reconstructed nuclear facilities, issue the environmental health passport for work with radioactive materials and other sources of ionising radiation; establish the standards for medical examination of the personnel working with radioactive materials and the sources of ionising radiation, periodic reviews of health, contraindications and control of compliance; undertake health surveillance of the nuclear facility personnel and the residents of the monitored zone of the facility; ensure the preparedness of medical institutions to use countermeasures; establish the radiation protection norms for the population and control compliance with them; organise medical examination of the forces of response to a nuclear accident and/or mitigation of its consequences and hygiene control of the population affected by radiation exposure and submit proposals for the reduction of radiation exposure; determine occupational diseases for the personnel working in the field of nuclear energy and study the causes of the diseases; educate the population about radiation protection. Most of these functions are delegated to Radiation Protection Centre, which was established by the Ministry of Health.

The Radiation Protection Centre is the institution which co-ordinates the activities of executive and other bodies of public administration and local government in the field of radiation protection, exercising state supervision and control of radiation protection, monitoring and expert examination of public exposure.

The Ministry of Environment establishes the limits of radioactive emissions into the environment and the permitted pollution norms after co-ordination with the Ministry of Health, monitors compliance with them, and establishes the procedure of emission licensing; establishes radiation protection standards jointly with the Ministry of Health and monitor compliance with them; co-ordinates in the manner prescribed by law assessment of the impact on the environment; approves technical regulations for the design and construction of nuclear facilities together with VATESI; co-ordinates the projects for sitting, reconstruction and expansion of nuclear facilities and facilities related to their operation; takes part in state monitoring of design and construction of nuclear facilities (structures); issues licences for the use of natural resources, organise state radio-ecological monitoring, co-ordinates and control radiological monitoring nuclear facilities; organises and co-ordinate scientific research of the impact of nuclear facilities on the environment; prepares and approves methodology of assessment of radiation damage to the environment and its compensation; periodically informs the public, national and local authorities about the radiation situation in the country and in the environment of nuclear facilities; on the recommendation of the institutions exercising state control and supervision of construction of nuclear facilities or at its own initiative shall cancel the authorisation to construct or reconstruct a nuclear facility when it is discovered that the authorisation was issued unlawfully.

The Ministry of Social Security and Labour shall coordinate the supervision of potentially dangerous technical installations carried out by the authorised technical supervision services in accordance with the procedure established in the Law on the Supervision of Potential Dangerous Installations with the exception of those under the control of VATESI.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications shall take part in drafting laws and subordinate legislation regulating transportation of nuclear and radioactive materials; participate in training and certification of the personnel involved in transportation of nuclear and radioactive materials; organise railway transport for the evacuation of the population from the danger zone in the event of a nuclear accident.

The Ministry of National Defence shall take part in drafting and implementing co-ordinated interdepartmental anti-terrorist and anti-penetration protection plans of the nuclear power plant and other nuclear facilities; ensure the security of transportation of nuclear and radioactive material cargoes across the territory of the country.

The Ministry of Interior shall ensure fire protection of the nuclear power plant and other nuclear facilities, conduct the state fire protection examination of their construction and reconstruction designs, co-ordinate the fire protection systems of those facilities; lay down fire protection requirements for nuclear facilities, exercise compliance with them and apply sanctions laid down in statutory acts for violators of fire protection regulations; promptly extinguish fires breaking out at nuclear facilities, participate in the management of a nuclear accident and its consequences, organise radiation monitoring of a contaminated area; exercise and ensure physical safety of a nuclear power plant; draft, co-ordinate and implement interdepartmental anti-terrorist and anti-penetration action plans; analyse and control the crime situation in the regions with nuclear facilities; investigate the cases of theft and illegal possession of nuclear and radioactive materials, also of other dual-purpose goods; provide assistance in ensuring the safety of transportation of nuclear and radioactive materials in the territory of the country.

The Fire-prevention and Rescue Department under the Ministry of the Interior shall draw up a population radiation protection plan in the event of a nuclear accident which shall be a model for other institutions authorised in the prescribed manner in preparing their respective plans of nuclear accident prevention, accident management and countermeasures; within the scope of its competence implement the measures for the response to the accident and mitigation of its consequences; organise training sessions of population protection in the event of nuclear accidents jointly with other state institutions.

The State Security Department shall exercise prevention of terrorist acts as well as other criminal acts aimed at damaging the interests of state security at nuclear facilities, in their environment, and on transportation routes of nuclear and radioactive materials; undertake operations and pre-trial investigation to detect and investigate actions constituting a threat to nuclear facilities, nuclear installations, equipment and technologies in keeping with the state security interests; scrutinise the credibility of persons who are being admitted to work or who are working at nuclear facilities or those who are assigned to transport nuclear and radioactive materials; control the effectiveness of physical safety and emergency preparedness of the nuclear power plant and other nuclear facilities; take part in drafting and implementing interdepartmental anti-terrorist and anti-subversive co-ordinated action plans of the nuclear power plant and other nuclear facilities.

The Governmental Emergencies Commission shall direct the activities of management of a nuclear accident and elimination of its consequences; mobilise material and other resources necessary for the response to a nuclear accident.

The County Governors on the territory whereof the construction of a nuclear facility is planned or has already started, in exercising supervision and control of the facility, shall act within the limits of the powers delegated to him by the Law on the County Government, this Law and other laws and subordinate legislation of the Republic of Lithuania.

The Local Authorities in the territories under their jurisdiction shall: take part in controlling the activities of nuclear power plants, nuclear reactors and other nuclear energy installations for which sanitary protection zones have been established; control the compliance with the landscape and architectural requirements of a nuclear facility, also with the sanitary, hygienic and nature protection requirements of a nuclear facility and its territory; take part in decision-making about the construction, reconstruction or decommissioning of nuclear facilities in their territory; obtain information from the facility operator about the failure, shut-down, release of radioactive materials and other incidents; prepare the population protection plans, and implement them in the event of nuclear accidents; inform the population about the radiological situation in the area where nuclear plants and other nuclear facilities are sited and about the radiation protection measures which are being implemented.

The Government established the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Advisory Committee (NRSAC) in May 1993. In July 1997, this Committee was reorganised as the Nuclear Safety Advisory Committee. The Committee’s members include nuclear experts from Lithuania, Germany, Finland, France, the USA, Sweden, Ukraine and the United Kingdom, who advises the Government in resolving problems in the field of nuclear energy. The Committee works with the Government, VATESI, the Ministry of Economy, managers of the state enterprise Ignalina NPP, state enterprise RATA and provides advice on upgrading nuclear safety and on the development of an efficient regulatory infrastructure. The Committee’s activities are fully financed from the State budget.

2.2.1.  Status of nuclear power plants

Lithuania operates one nuclear power plant - Ignalina NPP, which is located in the Northeastern part of Lithuania, near the borders with Latvia and Belarus. The site of the nuclear power plant covers an area of about 0.75 km2. The buildings take up about 0.22 km2.

Ignalina NPP contains two RBMK-type design reactors. This is the most advanced version of the RBMK reactor design series. The plant can be refuelled on line and uses slightly enriched nuclear fuel. Each nuclear fuel assembly is located in a separately cooled fuel channel (pressure tube). There are 1661 such channels in the reactor. The design lifetime of the Units is 30 years. Nominal capacity of 1500 MW(e) is down rated to about 1300 MW(e) for safety reasons. Table 6 shows the status of Ignalina NPP.


































in 2009

Source: Country Information

2.2.2.  Performance of NPPs

Table 7 and Fig. 4 shows the contribution of nuclear power to the total electricity generation.

fig. 4

Source: Country Information

FIG. 4. Nuclear Power and Total Electricity Generation












































































Source: Country Information

Link to PRIS database for information on individual reactors is available:

2.2.3.  Plant upgrading and plant life management

The safe operation of the NPP was and is always a major concern in NPP life management. Thus the plant life management process includes continuous assessment of plant safety level and plant upgrading.

Ignalina NPP safety analysis report (SAR-1), performed in 1994 - 1996, was the first western type in-depth safety assessment for RBMK-type reactors. The results of accident analysis, performed in the scope of this international project, showed that in the most cases of accidents initiated by equipment failures and loss of coolant accidents the acceptance criteria are unlikely to be violated. In July 1999 the license was granted to the Unit 1 of Ignalina NPP. However, few recommendations for plant upgrading were suggested. The special Safety Improvement Programme (SIP) was developed to perform modifications, that were requested after finalizing SAR-1 results. The first Safety Improvement Programme (SIP-1) was implemented by Ignalina NPP in 1993-1996. According to SIP-1 the new algorithms for reactor protection and ECCS activation were implemented at Ignalina NPP. Also the compensatory measure - the additional reactor emergency protection system, which protects the reactor in the case of design emergency protection system failure, was implemented.

In the new SAR-2 project all safety analyses are re-evaluated taking into account already performed modifications. This SAR became the basis for a second Safety Improvement Programme (SIP-2) for the period 1997-2004. One of the biggest and most important items in the programme is “Second Independent Diverse Shut-down System”, which was installed in October 2004. The licence for operation Unit 2 was issued in September 2004.

Lithuania takes necessary measures to ensure that a high safety level is maintained at Ignalina NPP during the transitional period from its operation to the decommissioning. In connection with the closure of the Unit 1, a new Safety Implementation Programme SIP-3 was approved in May 2005. Safety measures are planned there for a period of 2005-2009.

The license renewal rule requires that applicants perform ageing management reviews on passive long-lived structures and components to demonstrate that aging will be managed during the period of operation. The Intergranular Stress Corrosion Cracking (IGSCC) in welded joints is main ageing problem of austenitic pipes. This ageing issue could impact on safety. At present time Ignalina NPP is developing a new welding methodology to repair defected welds using minimal heat input and minimal number of passes. Water chemistry is considerably improved and in normal operation oxygen content is very low, however it slightly increases during start up and shutdown. Current performances and further “Ageing Management” related actions solving IGSCC at Ignalina NPP are the following:

2.2.4.  Nuclear power development: projections and plans

Lithuania has not made any particular decision concerning the construction of a new nuclear power plant. Taking into account global nuclear energy development trends, the latest technologies of reactors and their technical-economic characteristics few studies of feasibility to construct a new unit with the use of the existing infrastructure at the Ignalina NPP were carried on. These studies covered the justification of nuclear safety and acceptability of nuclear energy, including the construction of a new nuclear power plant.

In September 2005 Resolution of Seimas was adopted stating that Lithuanian Government should consider the possibilities and adopt concrete decisions on the prospects of construction of a new nuclear power plant and draw up the programme for the development of nuclear energy in Lithuania which would establish the principles of construction of a new nuclear power plant, the assumption of liabilities and responsibility, the funding conditions, the role of the State and the measures of impact, the choice of the type and capacity of the reactor, the requirements put to the potential investors and generators. In this regard, Lithuanian Government will update National Energy Strategy in 2006.

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. In this regard it was decided to prepare Feasibility study for construction of a new nuclear power plant in Lithuania. The feasibility study should evaluate technological, environmental, legal and economic aspects of the project and its feasibility. This study is to be completed by November 1, 2006.

2.2.5.  Decommissioning information and plans

Unit 1 of Ignalina NPP was closed on 31st December 2004. Lithuania committed to close Unit 2 by 2009 by Accession Treaty’s to European Union Protocol No. 4 on the Ignalina NPP in Lithuania. European Community commits to provide Lithuania with 837 MEUR the period 2007-2013.

The Ignalina Programme covers measures in support of the decommissioning of the Ignalina NPP; measures for the environmental upgrading in line with the acquis and modernisation measures of conventional production capacity to replace the production capacity of the two Ignalina NPP reactors; and other measures which are consequential to the decision to close and decommission this plant and which contribute to the necessary restructuring, environmental upgrading and modernisation of the energy production, transmission and distribution sectors in Lithuania as well as to enhancing the security of energy supply and improving energy efficiency in Lithuania. The Programme includes measures to support plant personnel in maintaining a high level of operational safety at the Ignalina NPP in the periods prior to the closure and during the decommissioning.

In order to manage, co-ordinate and monitor all aspects of the implementation of the main projects concerning the decommissioning of Ignalina NPP and to carry out associated engineering, procurement and other services Project Management Unit (PMU) was established in December 2001. The PMU finalized the Ignalina NPP Final Decommissioning Plan, which was approved on July 2005. After Unit 1 shut down Decommissioning Project, associated Safety Analysis Report and Environment Impact Assessment Report for the Unit 1 defueling phase were prepared. Contract for PMU Phase 2 was signed in 2005.

The main pre-decommissioning projects are completed: Steam Boiler Station, Heat Boiler Station, gas Pipeline to those boilers stations (108 km), New Technical Archive. The contracts for the projects Interim Spent Fuel Storage Facility (ISFS) and Solid Waste Management and Storage Facility were signed in 2005. Project fiches for free-release system, radiological characterization system, Landfill facility are prepared.

2.3.  Supply of NPPs

Ignalina NPP units are designed and constructed by the former USSR's Ministry for Nuclear Power Industry. Only these two units of the new design RBMK-1500 were built, representing the most powerful nuclear units in the territory of the former USSR. An overview of the various institutions responsible for the design and construction of the RBMK type reactors is shown in Fig. 5:

figure 5

Source: Country Information

FIG. 5. Scope of responsibility for the RBMK-type reactor projects

The development of the Ignalina NPP design was carried out by the Research and Development Institute for Energy Technology (Russian abbreviation - VNIPIET), St. Petersburg, (at that time Leningrad) Russia. This institute originated the design of the reactor internals and other radiation-related structural components The Accident Confinement System was designed by the Institute’s Sverdlovsk branch in Ekaterinburg, Russia. Metal structures of the main building were designed by the Main Design Office “Leningrad Steel Design” (“Leningradstalkonstrukcija”) of St. Petersburg, Russia. Atomic Energy Design Institute (“Atomenergoproekt”) Kiev, Ukraine developed turbine hall, the open distributive system, and auxiliary facilities.

The scientific supervisor of the RBMK-1500 project was the Kurchatov Atomic Energy Institute (often referred to as the Russian Research Centre “Kurchatov Institute”) in Moscow, Russia. The main designer of the nuclear steam supply system was the Research and Development Institute of Power Engineering (NIKIET) in Moscow, Russia. Russia is also the main supplier of spare parts to the Ignalina NPP.

2.4.  Operation of NPPs

Ignalina NPP is state-owned enterprise. The Ministry of Economy exercises the rights and duties of a participant of the Ignalina NPP. At the present time, Ignalina NPP entitles the rights as operator of a nuclear installation. For other purposes, such as liability to foreign countries, the State itself is assumed to be the operator.

Professional training of the personnel is organized at the Ignalina NPP Training centre, which was founded in 1996. It is responsible for organization and performance of initial, continuous and refresher training, certification and licensing of plant's staff and newcomers. All categories of operation personnel are trained there - managers, experts and qualified workers, as well as employees servicing equipment subject to the surveillance of the State Technical Inspectorate and performing potentially dangerous works. Training centre is well equipped with modern technical training aids and appliances, including full-scale simulator (FSS) - one of the most advanced models for NPPs with RBMK type reactors. Highly qualified instructors are prepared using support of IAEA experts, the Training centre staff.

2.5.  Fuel Cycle and Waste Management

The Government of Lithuania approved the Strategy on Radioactive Waste Management in 2002. Its objectives are to define radioactive waste management policy. The strategy is approved to implement the provisions of the Law on the Radioactive Waste Management, which establish the basic principles of radioactive waste management.

According to the Law on Environmental Protection the reprocessing of radioactive material used for the production of nuclear weapons or for fuel elements of nuclear power plants and the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) is prohibited. According to the law on the Radioactive Waste Management SNF is categorized as radioactive waste.

The main producer of radioactive waste is Ignalina nuclear power plant, though Lithuania has a wide application of radioactive sources in industry, medicine and research. As of 2005, there were 1056 facilities that conducting practices with radioactive sources. The number of sources in Lithuania is continually decreasing. There is no decision taken on final disposal of SNF same as on HLLW in Lithuania.

Storage of SNF at Ignalina NPP is performed by means of two methods: wet storage in pools near reactors and dry storage in the detached storage facility at NPP territory. Wet storage was provided by the initial design of Ignalina NPP. SFN in dry storage facility is stored in dual-purpose CONSTOR and CASTOR casks suitable for both long-term storage (for 50 years) and transport. Due to limited space in existing dry storage facility a new dry storage facility will be commissioned.

Solid radioactive waste generated at Ignalina NPP is segregated into 3 groups by surface dose, according to standards that were applied in the formal USSR. The new classification is approved in 2001. The solid waste at Ignalian NPP is dumped into reinforced concrete compartments without reprocessing before. It is foreseen to modernize the management and storage of solid radioactive waste using the best available technologies and the new classification system. To perform waste treatment, storage, and disposal works will be commissioned 1) solid radioactive waste treatment and storage facility, 2) landfill disposal facility for very low level waste, 3) near surface disposal repository for low and intermediate level waste.

Liquid radioactive waste at Ignalina NPP is collected in special tanks and then evaporated. The concentrate is processed and conditioned in the bitumen solidification facility. The bituminised compound then is pumped into a special storage. A study on possibility to licence this storage as repository is on going.

Spent ion exchange resins, perlite and sediments are not processed and stored in special tanks. At present cementation facility is installed and storage facility for cemented waste has been constructed in 2005. The packed cement solidified waste product will be finally disposed in the near surface repository.

Radioactive waste from research, medical and industrial institutions was sent to disposal facility at Maišiagala (30 km from the capital Vilnius) in years 1964-1989. The Maišiagala facility was originally designed as final repository, however after performing safety analysis in 2005-2006 the decision was taken to consider it as storage and to improve safety by reinforcing topping barriers. Since Maišiagala facility closure institutional radioactive waste is stored at Ignalina NPP storage facilities. Present policy requires disused radioactive sealed sources that could not be reused to send back to a supplier. In case of not being possibility to send back to a supplier the sources shall be treated without the final immobilization until the acceptance criteria for disposal are established.

Radioactive waste generated by enterprises in bankruptcy, orphan radioactive waste shall be collected, treated and temporary stored at Ignalina NPP storage facilities.

2.6.  Research and Development

2.6.1.  R&D Organizations and Institutes

Research and development activities are supported by the Ministry of Economy. Main technical support organizations for operators and regulators in Lithuania are Institute of Physics in Vilnius, Kaunas Technological University, Lithuanian Energy Institute in Kaunas, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, State Institute of Information Technologies, Joint stock company ITECHA in Vilnius.

The Lithuanian Energy Institute (LEI)

The main LEI research programmes in close relation to the needs of the energy sector and the environmental protection are development of energy economy planning methods, research into safety and reliability of power plants, their environmental impacts, and efficient energy consumption in the context of integration into the European Union; research in the fields of thermal physics, fluid mechanics, and metrology; simulation of complex energy systems, development of their control methods and technologies; research into refractories and chemically resistant materials, their production technologies, and ageing of structural elements; research into combustion and plasmic processes in the fields of fuel saving, reduction of the environmental pollution, and thermal decontamination of materials. Specialists of the Laboratories of Nuclear Installation Safety, Heat Transfer in Nuclear Reactors, and Material Research and Testing have been actively engaged in the field of nuclear energy safety.

The main research areas of the Nuclear Installation Safety Laboratory are thermal hydraulic analysis of accidents and transients; thermal hydraulic assessment of the Ignalina NPP Accident Confinement System; structural analysis of plant components, piping and other parts of the Main Circulation Circuit; simulation of RBMK-1500 reactor core; Probabilistic Safety Analysis of the Ignalina NPP; assessment of the effects of graphite moderator and fuel channels ageing, and graphite-pressure tube gap closure on the plant safety; single-failure analysis and engineering assessment.

The main areas of activities of the of Nuclear Engineering Laboratory are fire hazard analyses in nuclear power plants; safety assessment of spent nuclear fuel storage facilities; safety assessment of radwaste treatment technologies and spent nuclear fuel storage facilities; long-term safety assessment of radwaste repositories; assessment of different factors related with decommissioning of nuclear power plants; strategy on the management of radioactive waste; development of legal and regulatory base for radwaste management.

Material Research and Testing Laboratory has been accredited according to LST EN 45001 requirements and is carrying out tests of refractory and heat-insulating materials. The main activity areas of the laboratory are testing of non-irradiated materials used in nuclear energy, research into ageing of non-irradiated materials, analysis and safety assessment of non-irradiated materials under operating conditions.

Kaunas Technological University (KTU)

Key areas of activities of Department of Thermal and Nuclear Energy of KTU are: Thermal energy - thermodynamics, heat exchange and mass transfer, hydrodynamics, combustion processes, steam and gas turbines, internal combustion engines, heat supply, heating and ventilation, thermal power stations; nuclear energy - theory of nuclear reactors, reactor design, nuclear fuel, management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste, nuclear power plants, safe operation of reactors; thermo technology - thermal power systems, heat transformation, thermal technology plant, refrigeration processes, engineering of cryogenic processes, hydro mechanical technological plant, hydro mechanical processes, thermo ecology, biosphere conservation in energy generation.

Energy Technology Institute was founded in 2005 in order to coordinate the activities of the University subdivisions, which are involved in energy technology research, development and implementation actions, including nuclear safety and further nuclear energy development areas. Today there are three permanent staff employees and nine temporal scientific workers, engaged into to the activities of the Institute during the fulfilment of the specific energy related projects. Main research areas of are: Nuclear energy safety; Power equipment reliability and durability; New nuclear power plant construction necessity reasoning; Spent nuclear fuel management; Energy economy; Energy development planning; Energy processes efficiency increase and Oil industry equipment operation.

Main Research Areas of Computational Technologies Centre are: Analysis of physical structures, engineering systems and processes by using computational mathematics and mechanics methods and information technologies; Image processing and analysis based on computational technologies, techniques of the Artificial Intelligence and model based cognitive technologies in medicine, telemedicine, forensic examination, industry and multimedia.

Prof. K.Barsauskas Ultrasound Research Institute makes research in such areas: Ultrasonic measurements; Ultrasonic non-destructive testing and evaluation techniques; Ultrasonic signal and image processing; Ultrasonic tomography and Simulation of propagation of ultrasonic waves.

Principal areas of activities in nuclear energy of Strength and Fracture Mechanics Centre are structural Integrity (including fracture mechanics), ageing of Safety Related Systems and Components of Nuclear Power Plants.

Vilnius Gediminas Technical University

Fields of activities of Welding and Materials Science Institute are increase of reliability in metal and welding joints; consulting in welding, consumables, technologies and materials; compiling standards and normal documentation and expertise.

Fields of activities of the Nuclear Hydrophysics Laboratory are control on concentration of artificial nuclides in the Baltic Sea; mathematical modelling of the Baltic Sea ecosystems; prognostic evaluation of radiological situations; monitoring of solid cosmic emanation flow (SCEF); analysis of SCEF experimental data by methods of mathematical statistics; search of criteria for the prognosis of anomalous phenomenon on the Earth and acute conditions of people's diseases.

Fields of activities of the Strength Mechanics Laboratory are determination of mechanical properties indexes of various materials under normal and high heat capacity; research of monocycle and multicycle intension of various materials and elements; research of intension and solidity of constructions, their components, details and joints; determination of natural objects (technological equipment, buildings) defects and reserve of proof strength.

Fields of activities of Geodesy Institute are working out digital and analogous engineering-topographical plans of various scale in different co-ordinate systems; control geodetic pictures of underground communications; working out plans of plots and marking their limits in the district; marking buildings and constructions of different complexity; formation of geodetic foundation by GPS method; collation of range finder, electronic tachometers and GPS receivers.

Fields of activities of Building Construction and Materials Laboratory are research of building materials, constructions, buildings and technologies, examination of building conditions and projects, testing of building materials and constructions under laboratory and natural conditions, calculation of complex constructions and buildings; designing reinforcement of building constructions and buildings, author's supervision of projects, technical maintenance of construction; certificate testing of materials and constructions, contribution to the creation of Lithuanian regulations and standards.

Institute of Physics

The main fields of activity of the Institute of Physics in nuclear power engineering are modelling of the neutron flux-matter interaction; safety evaluation of spent nuclear fuel; determination of spent nuclear fuel nuclide composition; radiation dose evaluation and calculation of neutrons and gamma fields; modelling of radionuclide migration and accumulation in ecosystems; application of alpha- and gamma-spectroscopy in radioecological monitoring in identification of the balance of radionuclides in ecosystems; estimation of the radioactive pollution of the atmosphere, soil, Lake Drukšiai water and sediments in the vicinity of the Ignalina NPP, estimation of radiation doses received by the population.

The State Institute of Information Technologies (SIIT)

The State Institute of Information Technologies is continuing activities of the Computer Engineering and Information Research Institute established in 1988 on the basis of the Special Computer Design Bureau. The main areas of activities related with nuclear energy of SIIT are information, control and safety systems; automation and safety systems of technological processes; telecommunication system; information technology, telecommunication research and development, standards; management technique modernisation and safety analysis of breakneck objects.

Joint stock company ITECHA

Key areas of activities are design, installation, commissioning and support of automated control systems; I&C system analysis.

2.6.2.  Development of advanced and new generation nuclear reactor systems

Not applicable.

2.7.  International Co-operation and Initiatives

Lithuania has or had multilateral and bilateral projects, mostly concerning safety of nuclear power plants, with several highly developed Western countries, including Sweden, Germany, the USA, the UK, France, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Canada, Finland and Japan.

On 5 April 2001, a Framework Agreement was signed between the Republic of Lithuania and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development relating to the activities of the Ignalina International Decommissioning Support Fund in Lithuania for the decommissioning of Ignalina NPP.

The European Commission supported the project "Assistance in the Enhancement of Lithuanian Technical Safety Organizations Capability to Support Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority", which enables future development of the Metal Control Laboratory.

Lithuania participates in IAEA technical co-operation programme from 1994. For the 2005-2006 cycle IAEA approved three national projects for Lithuania, with a total budget for core financing of 307990 US$ for 2005 and 292440 US$ for 2006. The most important project is Support for Decommissioning of Ignalina NPP, which started in 2001. Lithuania is also participating in regional TC programme particularly dealing with nuclear power, nuclear safety, radiation protection and nuclear applications.

PHARE and bilateral co-operation programs with Sweden in radiation protection were aimed at strengthening the regulatory capabilities in the field of control of occupational, public, medical and natural exposure, emergency preparedness and response, radioactive waste management, operation and decommissioning of nuclear facilities, radiological measurements, development of legislation and training of personnel.

2.8.  Human Resources Development

Kaunas Technological University (KTU) in Lithuania is specialized in providing education of highly qualified nuclear and nuclear related specialists. The system of studies has four levels: Bachelor (undergraduate studies), Diploma engineer (professional studies), Master (graduate studies), and PhD (postgraduate studies). Duration of studies depends on chosen level and can continue from 4 to 10 years. About 50 - 70 % of KTU graduates are usually sent to Obninsk, and the rest of them stay at KTU to continue their education in Masters Studies and sometimes in PhD studies.

Agreement between KTU and Ignalina NPP regarding additional scholarships and guarantees of employment for nuclear engineering students was signed. 70 Bachelor and 56 Master or Diploma engineers of Nuclear energy sciences were prepared at KTU in the period from 1995 to 2006. Popularity of nuclear engineering sciences dropped sharply after the decision to shut down Ignalina NPP.


3.1.  Safety Authority and the Licensing Process

In October 1991, just after Lithuania regained independence, the national regulatory authority - State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate (VATESI) - was established for the safety, control at nuclear facilities and the supervision of nuclear materials accounting. In October 1992, the Government approved the statute of VATESI, regulating its activities and determining the basic objectives, functions, and rights. The new statute of VATESI was approved in July 2002.

Pursuant to its statute, VATESI is responsible for the state regulation of nuclear safety at the nuclear facilities and the safety of radioactive waste management. The duties of VATESI in its capacity as national nuclear regulatory authority include:

In 1997 the Board of VATESI was established. The task of the Board is to supervise VATESI activities, to assist the Government of Lithuania in forming the strategy of nuclear safety, to address the issues raised by the Head of VATESI and Board members. The new Board was appointed on 2001.

Until 1994 VATESI was not directly involved in the licensing of nuclear power plants. In autumn of 1994, VATESI, aided by Swedish experts, started the first licensing activity - licensing of spent fuel storage at the Ignalina NPP site. Later, in 1999 using close co-operation with the experts of international Licensing Assistance Project VATESI issued the license for the operation of Ignalina NPP Unit 1 The five years license for the operation of Unit 1 of INPP was issued in 1999 and a long-term operation license, replacing the first - in 2004. The Long term Licence for operation Unit-2 of Ignalina NPP was issued in September 2004.

3.2.  Main National Laws and Regulations in Nuclear Power


In the National Energy Strategy Lithuanian Seimas decided that the first Unit of Ignalina NPP will be closed before 2005, and the second Unit - in 2009, accordingly, while stressing the need for Lithuania to remain a ‘nuclear state’. Adopted plan of technical, environmental, social and economic implementation measures of the Ignalina NPP Unit 1 decommissioning laid down relevant timetable as well as indicated the responsible organizations and financing sources. Calculated preliminary cost for the implementation of technical decommissioning projects of Ignalina NPP measures related to safe operation of Ignalina NPP, Lithuanian PP upgrading and security supply projects require about 1 billion EUR for the period 2007 - 2013. European Community committed to provide assistance of 837 MEUR for this period.

Implementing Lithuanian power sector reorganization, Lithuanian power market will be gradually opened internationally. Integration into Baltic common electricity market, when afterward the integration into Western European and Scandinavian electricity markets is foreseen.

On the Lithuanian initiative, the main principles of the first phase of the market opening among three Baltic States were drawn up in October 2001. In November 2001 a Resolution regarding the Basic Principles of Establishing of Common Baltic Electricity Market was signed. The principles cover the functions of both transmission system operators and market regulators. The principles should be co-ordinated with respective institutions in Latvia and Estonia.

In November 2002 Memorandum between Energy Market Inspectorate of the Republic of Estonia, Public utilities Commission of the Republic of Latvia and National Control Commission for Prices and Energy of the Republic of Lithuania concerning the Common Baltic Electricity Market was signed. At present the energy companies (future transmission system operators) of the three Baltic countries are negotiating the common activities under market conditions.

The electricity market in the country shall be established in stages, by gradually giving the right of regulated third party access to the grid and the right to conclude direct electricity purchase contracts with producers having electricity supply licenses for the following eligible customers.

The Electricity Law came into force in January 2002, and calls for a partial opening of the market from 2002 and a full opening by 2010. From July 2004 electricity market is open to all non-household customers and from July 2007 - will be opened for all customers. The competition is allowed in the fields of electricity generation and supply, while the transmission and distribution activities remain subject to regulation.

After the closure of the Ignalina NPP Lithuania needs the construction of a new nuclear power plant aiming to prevent strong dependence over the imported fossil fuel at prices which are difficult to project, to reduce the level of pollutant emissions to the atmosphere and mitigate the related economic consequences.

Lithuania has not made any particular decision concerning the construction of a new nuclear power plant yet. 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 have signed a memorandum of understanding on Preparation for Construction of a New Nuclear Reactor in Lithuania.




Republic of Lithuania. National Energy Strategy. October 10, 2002.


Republic of Lithuania. National Energy Efficiency Programme. September 19, 2001


Almenas, A. Kaliatka, E. Uspuras. Ignalina RBMK -- 1500. A Source Book. Ignalina Safety Analysis Group, Lithuanian Energy Institute, 1994.


Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania Annual Report 2004.


State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate (VATESI) Annual Report 2004.


Radioactive Waste Management Agency Annual Report 2004.


Radioation Protection Centre Annual Report 2005.


Monitoring report „Supply Security in the Lithuanian Electricity Market“. Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania, 2002.


Energy in Lithuania 2004. Lithuanian Energy institute, 2005.


IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS).


Appendix 1



•  NPT related agreement


15 October 1992

•  Additional Protocol

Entry into force:

5 July 2000

•  Agreement on privileges and immunities of the IAEA

Entry into force:

28 February 2001


•  NPT

Entry into force:

23 June 1991

•  Vienna convention on civil liability for nuclear damage

Entry into force:

15 November 1992

•  Joint protocol relating to the application of the Vienna convention and the Paris convention

Entry into force:

20 December 1993

•  Convention on the physical protection of nuclear materials

Entry into force:

6 January 1994

•  Convention on early notification of a nuclear accident

Entry into force:

17 December 1994

•  Convention on nuclear safety

Entry into force:

24 October 1996

•  Protocol to amend the Vienna convention on civil liability for nuclear damage


30 September 1997

•  Convention on supplementary compensation for nuclear damage


30 September 1997

•  Convention on assistance in the case of a nuclear accident or radiological emergency

Entry into force:

22 October 2000

•  Joint convention on the safety of spent fuel management and on the safety of radioactive waste management

Entry into force:

14 June 2004

•  ZANGGER Committee



•  Nuclear Export Guidelines


Not Adopted

•  Acceptance of NUSS Codes




•  Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Lithuania 16 March 1993 and the Government of the Kingdom of Denmark concerning information exchange and co-operation in the fields of nuclear safety and radiation protection

16 March 1993

•  Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and the Government of the Kingdom of Norway on early notification of nuclear accidents and on the exchange of information on nuclear facilities

13 February 1995

•  Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and the Government of the Republic of Poland on early notification of a nuclear accidents, and on co-operation in the field of nuclear safety and radiation protection

2 June 1995

•  Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and the Government of the Republic of Latvia on early notification of nuclear accidents, exchange of information and co-operation in the field of nuclear safety and radiation protection

3 October 2003


Appendix 2



Ministry of Economy
Gedimino ave. 38/2, LT-01104 Vilnius

Tel: 370 5 262 90 97
Fax. 370 5 262 39 74

Ministry of Environment
A.Jakšto str. 4/9, LT-01105 Vilnius

Tel: 370 5 266 36 61
Fax. 370 5 226 36 63


State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate
A.Goštauto str. 12, LT- 01108 Vilnius

Tel: 370 5 262 41 41
Fax. 370 5 261 44 87

Radiation Protection Centre
Kalvariju str. 153, LT-08221 Vilnius

Tel: 370 5 236 19 36
Fax. 370 5 276 36 33


State Enterprise Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant
LT-31500 Ignalina

Tel: 370 (386) 28 350
Fax. 370 (386) 29 350


Joint-Stock Company "Lietuvos Energija"

Lithuanian Energy Institute

Kaunas University of Technology

Lithuanian University of Agriculture

Vilnius Gediminas Technical University

Vilnius University

Vytautas Magnus University


[1] The statistical tables (4,5 and 6) in this profile have been updated with data as of July 2009 from IAEA databases and Energy and Economic Data Bank (EEDB, 2009).