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IAEA Experts Conduct First Virtual Safety Peer Review Mission, See Strengthened Safety in Lithuania

The Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) team on 2 December concluded a seventeen-day follow-up mission to review Lithuania’s implementation of recommendations and suggestions made during a first mission in 2016. The follow-up mission was conducted at the request of the Government of Lithuania and hosted by two Lithuanian authorities: the State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate (VATESI) and the Radiation Protection Centre (RSC).

The team found that most of the recommendations and suggestions identified in 2016 had been implemented.

In the first such mission held virtually, an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts said Lithuania had strengthened its regulatory framework for nuclear and radiation safety in recent years. The team said there was still room for further improvement in the area of radioactive waste management.

The IRRS team said the Lithuanian authorities showed a strong commitment to nuclear and radiation safety and have taken active steps to address the recommendations and suggestions identified in 2016. In addition to an improved integration of IAEA safety standards into the legal framework on radiation protection, the review team welcomed that the framework was amended to increase public involvement in regulatory decision-making.

The team noted that there is still work to be done, particularly in finalising some of the arrangements needed for regulating the future management of Lithuania’s radioactive waste and its eventual disposal. Lithuania’s Ministry of Energy said it plans to address this in the revised National Radioactive Waste Management Programme. An IAEA Integrated Review Service for Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel Management, Decommissioning and Remediation (ARTEMIS) mission will take place in June 2021 to review radioactive waste management in Lithuania in more detail.

In the four decades that the IAEA has conducted nuclear and radiation safety peer review missions around the world, this was the first to be organized completely online due to the restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

IAEA press release: https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/pressreleases/iaea-experts-conduct-first-virtual-safety-peer-review-mission-see-strengthened-safety-in-lithuania