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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Nuclear Plant To Undergo Renovation

VILNIUS, Lithuania -- A nuclear power plant will reopen this summer after a series of improvements, many recommended by international experts who consider it one of the most dangerous in the world, a report said Wednesday.


The Ignalina plant, which supplies about 80 percent of Lithuania's electricity, has aging, Soviet-made, graphite-cooled reactors like the ones at Chernobyl, site of the world's worst nuclear accident in 1986.


Ignalina's first reactor will be shut down April 1 for 70 days of improvements, and then restarted, the Baltic News Service reported Wednesday.


The second reactor will remain in service. The country is not expected to face serious energy problems during the interim.


A number of international nuclear groups have said that the Ignalina plant is dangerous, though most believe it could meet acceptable safety standards if improvements are made.


Areas requiring attention include plant management and security, accident containment and operating systems, international groups have said.


Jurij Semashin, an Ignalina official with the Lithuanian State Atomic Energy Security Inspection, said he saw no reason why the reactor should be shut down permanently, the Baltic News Service reported.


He said that millions of dollars had been spent to improve the safety of the reactor, and further improvements would be made starting in April. The Ignalina plant is just 60 kilometers from the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius.