Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Nuclear Country Notes
Two LWGRs (each of 1 500 MWe gross capacity) were built at Ignalina, north-east of Vilnius, in the mid-1980s: one was commissioned in December 1983 and the other in August 1987. After the accident at Chernobyl, the capacity of the Ignalina NPP was derated to 2 600 MWe gross (2 370 MWe net) for safety reasons. Ignalina-1 was shut down on 31 December 2004, in accordance with the terms of Lithuania's accession to the European Union. In 2005, Ignalina-2 accounted for nearly 70% of the republic's electricity generation.
The National Energy Strategy approved by the Seimas (parliament) in 2002 provides for closure of Unit 2 of Ignalina NPP in 2009. In the draft Strategy updated in 2006 it is declared that within the period 2015-2017 a new nuclear power plant will be commissioned. It is assumed that this power plant will satisfy much of the electricity requirements of the three Baltic States and will increase energy security in the region.
The three Baltic States signed an agreement in February 2006 to build a new NPP in Lithuania by 2015. It was envisaged that the respective state-owned energy companies would take equal shares in the project. A feasibility study conducted by the three power companies (October 2006) confirmed the need for new capacity and identified a number of advantages in opting for the nuclear route. In December 2006 it was reported that Poland had expressed an interest in taking a 25% share in the NPP project, alongside an agreement to construct a 400 kV transmission line linking the Polish and Lithuanian electricity grids. Two months later, all four parties reached an agreement in principle to build an NPP on the Ignalina site by 2015. Lithuania would take a 34% share of the project, with Latvia, Estonia and Poland each having a 22% share.