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City, Country
Visiginas, Lithuania

Number & type of Reactors
2 X RBMK-1500

Net Electric Power as % in 92 of national total
2760 MWe 78.1% of national total

Major population Centers in a 150 km radius and
total estimated population of 150 km r. region

Approximately 3.4 million including parts of Belorussia and Lativa

Date of commercial operation start up
or (if unfinished) date of construction start.

Startup 1983, 1987
Both units operating

LSPS (Lithuania State Power System) - operator

Accidents and Dangers:

In 1987-88, there were 80 fires and accidents, 3 of which were serious. In 1994, there were 7 unplanned shutdowns and several threats of nuclear terrorism. Ignalina, the largest RBMK reactors, has unfit automatic control, shutdown, safety, and containment systems. There were 57 accidents between January and mid-November of '95 Spent fuel has never been moved from the plant's storage pools.

Local Contact Group:

Lithuanian Green Movement
Energy and Air Pollution Information Centre
Box 156 LT3000 Kaunas, Lithuania
tel 3-707-207250 fax 3-707-209-274

Key Arguments/History

These oversized Chernobyl-style reactors are suffering from acceleratred embrittlement of their fuel channels, and thus an increased likelihood of catastrophic failure. During Ignalina’s construction period, corruption, stealing, and drunkenness was common in the workforce, so construction quality is of a low level. The plant has been built on a geologic fault between two moving tectonic plates.
Electricity demand in Lithuania is considerably less than that produced by Ignalina, and there is little opportunity to export electricity profitably. If the investments needed for acceptable safety and for nuclear waste management are taken into account, there is no economic reason to keep such a big plant in operation. Hungary has just purchased slightly used fuel from the Greifswald reactor for use at Paks.


Electrical demand can be covered by existing thermal plants, but these are relatively polluting and inefficient. However, these plants should be reconstructed into cogeneration plants with increased efficiency. Total estimated potential of energy saving and efficiency 10-40% from existing energy consumption. Local and renewable energy resources in Lithuania could potentially account for 15% of total energy production. Industry can be re-oriented toward more efficient and less energy intensive or wasteful technologies.