How is the programme designed to deliver results?


The decommissioning of a nuclear installation such as a power plant or research reactor is the final step in its lifecycle. It involves activities from shutdown and removal of nuclear material to the environmental restoration of the site. The whole process is long and complex: it typically takes 20 to 30 years. It is also fraught with technical, technological and financiall challenges. The EU legal framework sets the highest safety standards for all activities regarding nuclear installations, including their decommissioning.

In application of its Act of Accession to the Union, Lithuania anticipated the shutdown of the two nuclear reactors in Ignalina within the agreed deadlines (2004 and 2009).

The Union committed to provide financial support for the decommissioning, in accordance with approved plans, while keeping the highest level of safety.

EU funding is justified, since nuclear safety in Lithuania is essential for nuclear safety in the region and in the EU as a whole. EU action has also specific added value because it favours the dissemination of critical knowledge and know‑how on dismantling and decontamination processes.

The programme is on track to accomplish the specific objectives with the funding provided in the 2014-2020 MFF and a clear trend towards increased efficiency was observed throughout the monitoring activities as confirmed by independent experts.


The programme’s general objective is to assist Lithuania in implementing the decommissioning of the Ignalina nuclear power plant, with specific emphasis on managing the safety challenges in respect thereof, while creating knowledge with regard to the nuclear decommissioning process and the management of radioactive waste resulting from the decommissioning activities.


The programme will assist with activities included in the decommissioning plan submitted by Lithuania, in particular with:

  1. dismantling and decontamination of the reactor shafts’ top and bottom zones and equipment in accordance with the decommissioning plan;
  2. the design for the dismantling and decontamination of the reactor shafts’ central zones (graphite cores). This objective is to be accomplished before 2027, when the relevant authorisations will be granted to carry out the actual dismantling and decontamination, which is scheduled to occur after 2027;
  3. safe management of the decommissioning and legacy waste up to interim storage or to disposal (depending on the waste category), including the completion of the waste management infrastructure where necessary;
  4. implementation of the building demolition programme;
  5. obtaining the decommissioning licence once Unit 1 and Unit 2 of the Ignalina nuclear power plant are defueled;
  6. downgrading of radiological hazards.

Furthermore, knowledge and experience gained and lessons learnt under the programme with regard to the decommissioning process shall be disseminated among Union stakeholders, thus enhancing the EU added value of the programme.


  • EUR 552.0 millionTotal financial programming 2021-2027
2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027
72.5 98.9 68.8 74.6 74.7 80.1 82.4

In EUR million.


The actions to be funded by the Ignalina programme are within the scope of the decommissioning plan established by Lithuania. The Commission, in close cooperation with Lithuania, will determine in the work programme the actions to support financially, focusing on activities related to the delivery of the general and specific objectives and with the highest EU added value, i.e. removal of radiological hazards and creation and dissemination of relevant knowledge.

Delivery mode

Indirect Management entrusted to the EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) and CPMA (Central Project Management Agency – national agency in Lithuania).

The Directorate-General for Energy manages directly a limited fraction of the funds for preparatory, monitoring, control, audit and evaluation activities.

Performance framework: more information

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Where are we in the implementation?

You will find information on the programme implementation in this webpage.

It will be updated when the programme will have started on an annual basis alongside the publication of the draft budget and the discharge.

Next publication (estimation): June 2022.

Predecessor programmes 2014-2020

The decommissioning of the Ignalina nuclear power plant (LT) has received EU support since 2001 under various instruments. The EU assistance in the 2021‑2027 MFF is the continuation of the long-term programme—which is scheduled to extend through 2038--with the additional objective to disseminate knowledge on the decommissioning process to all EU Member States. The activities funded in the period 2021-2027 will be subject to an EU co-financing rate of 86%.

2014-2020 Nuclear Decommissioning (Lithuania)

  • EUR 450.8 millionBudget allocation 2014-2020

Overall execution (2014-2020)

  Total %
Commitments EUR 450.8 million
Payments EUR 100.2 million

This graph includes implementation based on voted budget appropriations and carried-over appropriations.


Key monitoring indicators

  Baseline Progress Target Results Assessment
Fuel assemblies transported to dry interim storage (in tonnes)  
15 630 15 243 out of 15 630 assemblies On track
Unloaded fuel assemblies from reactor core of unit 2  
1 134 1 134 out of 1 134 assemblies On track
Registered incidents  
0 0 incidents On track
Auxiliary system dismantled and safely conditioned waste – dismantled equipment (in tonnes)  
47 277 43 730 out of 47 277 tonnes On track
Auxiliary system dismantled and safely conditioned waste – Primary processed waste (in m3)  
42 314 42 703 compared to 42 314 m3 On track
% of target achieved by the end of 2020



Concrete examples of achievements

  • 43 730tonnes of material were dismantled from the turbine hall by 2020, a task completed in August 2019. The large hall is now used to store and process materials from other buildings.
  • 98%of spent-fuel assemblies were safely stored by the end of 2020 compared with a taget of 90%.
  • 191new storage casks were delivered by February 2020, a year ahead of schedule.
  • 42 703m3 of radioactive waste were processed and stored from the turbine hall and auxiliary buildings by the end of 2020 compared with a target of 42 314 m3.
  • 0incidents were observed over the 2014-2020 period. Maintaining the highest level of safety is part of the general objective of the Ignalina programme.

Programme Performance Overview

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