Skip to main content

Baltic Region Initiative for Long Lasting InnovAtive Nuclear Technologies

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - BRILLIANT (Baltic Region Initiative for Long Lasting InnovAtive Nuclear Technologies)

Reporting period: 2017-01-01 to 2018-06-30

The region of the European Union around the Baltic sea and especially the countries Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are not adequately integrated to the European electricity grid. At the end of 2009 Ignalina NPP, which generated ~70-75 % of electricity in Lithuania and supplied electricity to Latvia and Estonia, was permanently shutdown leaving the region without nuclear power generation. Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia were discussing building new NPP of ABWR type in Visaginas (Lithuania). Poland employed its own program for nuclear power development and building NPP.
New electricity grid interconnections Lithuania – Sweden and Lithuania – Poland have been constructed and started the operation at the end of 2015. They provide for possibilities to synchronise the electricity grid of the Baltic region with the continental Europe. Building new NPP would affect the whole region not only in technological but in macroeconomic field as well. However, construction of new nuclear power plant in Baltic countries meets various obstacles. In the project BRILLIANT (Baltic Region Initiative for Long Lasting InnovAtive Nuclear Technologies) the main obstacles to the development of nuclear power in the region are addressed.
The project covers the following areas related to nuclear power development: nuclear fuel cycle including management of radioactive waste, safety of nuclear power plants, planning of the energy sector development, security of energy supply, macroeconomic impact in the region, education and training. It is well known that different level of nuclear safety and radiation safety knowledge as well as Research, Development and Education (R&D&E) infrastructure exists in the countries of the Baltic region. Such differences and lack of cooperation prevent from effective utilisation of potential of each country. The project is implemented by: the coordinator is Lietuvos energetikos institutas (LEI) (Lithuania); and the partners Narodowe Centrum Badan Jadrowych (NCBJ) (Poland); Tartu Ulikool (TARTU) (Estonia); Latvijas Universitate (UL) (Latvia); Kungliga Tekniska Hoegskolan (KTH) (Sweden), Valstybinis Moksliniu Tyrimu Institutas Fiziniu Ir Technologijos Mokslu Centras (FTMC) (Lithuania), and industrial partner VAE SPB UAB (VAE SPB) (Lithuania).
Baltic countries and Poland miss the regional approach in planning development of the energy sector. The regional competences developed in BRILLIANT created the basis for application of the regional approach in the planning of energy sector, and it will contribute to the implementation of Energy Union in the EU. The cooperation and networking in the BRILLIANT project will reduce regional disparity in the European Union and will improve participation of Baltic countries and Poland in the EURATOM and other EU research programs. The ultimate goal of BRILLIANT project is development of roadmap to establishment of the virtual EUROBaltic Centre of Nuclear Research and Technology, with competence centers established in all participating countries.
Partners of the BRILLIANT project implemented a lot of activities important for cooperation in the Baltic region in the field energy sector research and development, taking emphasis on the impact of nuclear power developments and related research. At first project partners collected information on the existing research infrastructure, energy sector infrastructure, and the information on the radioactive wastes in the countries represented in the project. The collected information on research infrastructure was used to perform SWOT analysis of Nuclear education and training in the Baltic states. The collected information on energy sectors in each country is used to develop a country-specific model for MESSAGE modelling tool. To ensure that these country-specific models are developed correctly the trainings were provided by LEI experts to all project partners. The country specific model we later joined together to establish a regional model of the energy sector.
A number of meetings with wider public was organised in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland. These meetings were open to all interested people from different ministries, regulators, agencies, students, etc. In each meeting presentations on nuclear power development, project objectives, achieved results and importance of regional cooperation to solve the energy sector issues were given and followed with live discussion with the participants. These meetings contributed to an efficient political and public communication on the important subjects related to nuclear power and its regional impact.
Four competence build-up visits to the “nuclear fuel cycle hub” in Oskarshamn, Sweden have been realized in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Each meeting was attended by up to 20 participants from BRILLIANT partners as well as other stakeholders in nuclear energy issues from participating countries. The meetings were attended by the ambassador of Poland in Sweden, energy vice minister of Lithuania, experts of the nuclear regulators or power plant operators. Such high interest show importance of the project implemented activities. Oskarshamn community organised these meetings very effectively. A program of the meetings included 1) guided tour of the Reactor O3; 2) Visit to Interim Storage for Spent Nuclear Fuel, 3) Visit to Äspö Har Rock Laboratory; and 4) Visit to SKB, Canister Laboratory.
Students from the European Master in Nuclear Energy (EMINE), from KTH’s Master in Nuclear Energy Engineering (TNEEM), from Technical University in Krakow -AGH were actively cooperating with the BRILLIANT project participating in the BRILLIANT seminars, courses and preparing materials for BRILLIANT events. BRILLIANT young students and experts participate in the Summer Course on the Geological Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel. European Nuclear Education Network – ENEN has been well informed about the BRILLIANT project and some of BRILLIANT co-organised events like the Summer Course in Oskarshamn, Sweden. BRILLIANT project has been presented during the information event in Almedalen in Sweden on Nuclear Energy prospects.
The BRILLIANT project provided a good basis so establish a strong and effective cooperation among the research centres in Baltic region in the fields of nuclear fuel cycle, radioactive waste management, energy sector development, security of energy supply, assessment of the macroeconomic impact of the nuclear power developments, etc.
A concept of EUROBaltic Centre of Nuclear Research and Technology was developed. In accordance with proposed concept the competence centers in relevant areas are foreseen in each participating country. A roadmap of development the EUROBaltic Centre was developed and will be further implemented by project partners in the frames of post-BRILLIANT cooperation. A common proposal for H2020 program call was developed and submitted.