Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - BRILLIANT (Baltic Region Initiative for Long Lasting InnovAtive Nuclear Technologies)

Reporting period: 2015-07-01 to 2016-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

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 are discussing building new NPP of ABWR type in Visaginas (Lithuania). Poland employed its own program for nuclear energy and is a potential partner for Visaginas NPP as well.
New electricity grid interconnections Lithuania – Sweden and Lithuania – Poland have been constructed and started the operation at the end of 2015. They provide for the possibilities for synchronization of 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, energy security, 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 the frames of project will create the basis for application of regional approach in the planning of energy sector in participating countries, and those 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.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During first 18 months of the project there a lot of activities are implemented. At first the 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. In the next step these models will be 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 and importance of regional cooperation to solve the energy sector issues were given and followed with live discussion with the participants. Seminars contributed to an efficient political and public communication on the important subjects related to nuclear power and its regional impact.
Two competence build-up visits to the “nuclear fuel cycle hub” in Oskarshamn, Sweden have been realized. First competence build up visit to Oskarshamn took place 10-11 December 2015 for 19 Brilliant participants and 7 representatives of Oskarshamn community. The second visit took place on September 28-29, 2016 for 13 participants including the ambassador of Poland in Sweden and representatives of some ministries of energy of BRILLIANT countries. Both visits had similar program including 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 are 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 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. This event was organized in July 2016 by Women in Nuclear and The Swedish Nuclear Association as a public information event tailored specially for political experts.
A concept of EUROBaltic Centre of Nuclear Research and Technology is suggested in the first period of the Project and will be further developed. In accordance with proposed concept of the EUROBaltic Centre, the competence centers in relevant areas are foreseen in all participating countries.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The information disseminated at the meetings with wider public in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland helped not only to provide information to decision makers, interested parties, students, etc. but to learn from them what are their expectations and what information is still missing and what barriers are to overcome to successful implementation of nuclear power plant projects. Seminars contributed to an efficient political and public communication on the important subjects related to nuclear power and its regional impact. The competence build up visits to Oskarshamn demonstrated to the participants (incl. decision makers from BRILLIANT countries) the positive socio-economic impact of the nuclear infrastructures in the region and involvement of local community.
Discussions among BRILLIANT partners help us to develop a strong basis for successful regional cooperation and better utilisation of all research and innovation potential, which is needed for future EUROBaltic Centre of Nuclear Research and Technology, which is the ultimate goal of the project.

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