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Lithuania’s Energy Future The end of nuclear power: Where to turn now? Brigham Leslie Geography 308 Lithuanian Energy Extremely important to the country 14% of all industrial employees 25% of the of the total assets of the country’s enterprises

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lithuania s energy future

Lithuania’s Energy Future

The end of nuclear power: Where to turn now?

Brigham Leslie

Geography 308

lithuanian energy
Lithuanian Energy
  • Extremely important to the country
    • 14% of all industrial employees
    • 25% of the of the total assets of the country’s enterprises
    • Significant portion of Lithuania’s export profits
      • 6.3 billion kWh of electricity exported in 2003
brief history
Brief History

Brief History

  • In the mid 1980’s, under Soviet rule, two nuclear power reactors were built at Ignalina, northeast of the capital of Vilinus.
  • Built to supply the northwest region of the USSR.
  • When Lithuania gained independence in 1991, the country assumed full responsibility of the plant.
brief history4
Brief history
  • For 15 years, the two nuclear power reactors at Ignalina accounted for an average of 73% of Lithuania’s electricity generation, the highest percentage of any country in the world.

Set world record in 1993 for the share of nuclear-generated electricity in one country at 88.1%

ignalina
Ignalina
  • Ignalina Power plant (INPP)
  • Two RBMK 1500, 1350MWe reactor units
  • Built out of the Chernobyl mold
    • Graphite Reactors
  • Two most powerful nuclear reactors in Soviet history.

INPP generates far more power and electricity than is needed for domestic use

acceptance into the eu
Acceptance into the EU
  • Lithuania officially accepted in 2004
  • Extensive research in the country’s energy sector
    • 2002 (by EU’s orders) the Seimus (Parliament) adopted a revised version of The Lithuanian National Energy Strategy.
  • New strategy called for the decommissioning of both Ignalina’s nuclear power reactors
decommissioning of ignalina
Decommissioning of Ignalina
  • Until recently, INPP employed close to 5,000 people
  • Devastating blow to the surrounding community
  • Only ≈ 800 jobs retained from the original 5,000
  • Could possibly create new, different jobs
decommissioning process
Decommissioning process
  • Decommissioning: controlled dismantling, removal, processing, and storage of all radioactive or contaminated wastes
    • Includes buildings, equipment, materials, even office supplies
  • Three main steps in the process
step 1 planning and preparation
Step 1: Planning and Preparation
  • Building of support facilities to allow first reactor to close
    • Boiler plants
  • Construction of storage facilities to store materials deemed reusable
  • Construction of radioactive/contaminated waste storage
    • Could include a half-mile deep pit (similar to a mine shaft.)
      • Similar to Yucca Mountain in Nevada
step 2 fuel removal dismantling
Step 2: Fuel Removal & Dismantling
  • Incredibly expensive
    • EU allocated 200 million euros to the project
  • Highly technical
    • Done remotely, using purpose-built robots
  • Time consuming
    • De-fueling of the units alone will take nearly 4 years
    • Entire decommissioning process will take ≈30 years
step 3 waste handling and storage
Step 3: Waste Handling and Storage
  • As waste is removed, graded on radioactivity
    • Stored accordingly
  • Three options, all expensive and complicated
    • 1.) Burry it in Lithuania
    • 2.) Export the waste abroad
    • 3.) Build a regional repository with cooperation from neighboring countries
burying the waste in lithuania
Burying the Waste in Lithuania
  • Philosophical question…Is it safe?
    • 700,000 years from some radioactive waste to loose it dangerous qualities
  • Burial site?
    • Locals express NIMBY attitude
      • Size of Lithuania comparable to West Virginia so the entire nation could be at risk
  • Final disposal complicated
    • Where, what, who and how
exporting the waste
Exporting the Waste
  • Huge Problem for Lithuania
    • Option ignored due to weak financial capabilities
  • Risk of transporting wastes
    • Accidents, terrorism, and theft
  • Who to export it to?
    • Are they capable of safe storage
      • Some countries would offer to purchase the waste with no plan for disposal
    • Ability to make nuclear bombs
  • If some state does accept, it would cost billions
regional repository
Regional Repository
  • Again, is it safe?
  • Need cooperation of neighboring countries
    • Difficult due to ethnic and historical resentment
  • High levels of fear and skepticism stemming from the Chernobyl incident in Ukraine
  • Only viable for the next 50 years…then what?
other energy sources
Other Energy Sources
  • Currently, including hydro, only 7.9% generated by renewable resources
  • Lithuania has almost no primary energy resources
  • Primary energy supply dominated by Russian Imports

All crude oil, natural gas, and nuclear fuel imported solely from Russian sources

new energy sources in lithuania
New Energy Sources in Lithuania
  • Development of new sources extremely important due to the EU’s energy policy
    • Requires 7% of electricity consumed domestically to come from renewable and waste resources
    • Kyoto Protocol emphasis on emissions control and sustainable energy
renewable energy sources
Renewable Energy Sources
  • Loss in supply means a increase in energy prices
  • With Lithuania’s energy supply reduced by over 1/3, renewable sources now extremely important
  • Viable options
    • Wood, straw, peat, solar, bio-fuel, wind, and geo-thermal energy
renewable energy sources18
Renewable Energy Sources

Lithuanian RE Sources

Table courtesy of: European Renewable Energy Council

wood as an energy source
Wood as an Energy Source
  • Over 30% of land covered with forests
  • Wood-based boiler plants dominate RE projects
    • Aprox. 250MW
  • Mainly for district heating use
  • Expected to increase
peat for fuel
Peat for Fuel
  • Peatlands are widespread
    • Especially in the west and southeast
  • Ranks 3rd in mineral commodities produced
  • Briquettes used to heat homes
  • Also expected to increase

www.peatlandsni.gov.uk/ history/fuel.htm

bio fuel in lithuania
Bio-fuel in Lithuania
  • Bio-fuel produced mainly by rapeseeds
    • 34 thousand tons/year of ethanol production
    • Capacity to produce twice as large
  • EU requires 5.75% of transport fuels to come from bio-fuel

news.bbc.co.uk/.../ uk/newsid_753000/753401.stm

solar energy
Solar Energy
  • Used domestically to heat water
  • Passive-solar energy to heat homes through windows
  • Solar drying of agriculture products
  • Too expensive to be economically viable, at least for now

www.statvoks.no/nicole/ ecole_background.htm

geo thermal energy
Geo-thermal Energy
  • Geothermal areas cover 80% of Lithuania.
  • Geothermal plant in Klaipeda
    • Rated capacity of 41MW
  • Another proposed plant in Baisiogala

www.phschool.com/.../ renewable_energy.html

wind power
Wind Power

Baltic Wind Atlas

  • Expected to become important “green energy” source
  • By 2010, 170MW capacities of wind turbines will be installed in Lithuania

Important to the coastal region’s future development

conclusion
Conclusion
  • Funding for the energy sector overhaul provided by the EU.
  • Privatization of the energy sector at 90%
  • International investments into energy sector
    • Need to import technologies and skilled workers
  • Lithuania forced to eliminate nuclear power quickly
    • Results in energy price spike, unhappy citizens
      • Lithuanians have yet to face the enormous costs of waste disposal
  • Developing, rather poor country
    • Much room for the development of renewable technologies
conclusion26
Conclusion
  • Strict EU energy policy will be tough to meet for Lithuania
  • Seimus optimistic that with domestic and foreign support, country will be on pace with EU’s requirements
bibliography
Bibliography
  • Websites
    • DTI 2004 Energy Projects
      • http://www.energyprojects.co.uk/wind_energy_lt.htm
    • World Energy Council
      • http://www.worldenergy.org/wec-geis/edc/countries/Lithuania.asp
    • Department of Energy-USA
      • http://www.fe.doe.gov/international/CentralEastern%20Europe/lithover.html
    • Lithuanian State of the Environment 2001
      • http://www.am.lt/EN/VI/files/0.919984001036055560.pdf
    • CIA World Factbook
      • http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/lh.html
    • Ministry of Environment-Lithuania
      • http://www.am.lt/EN/VI/
    • Ignalina Power Plant
      • http://www.iae.lt/