„On our part, there is an objective to have a breakthrough in Ignalina. Everything depends not only on us, but on the contractor as well. There are first indications from the contactor and willingness to work together. In the past weeks, intensive work has been going on among the INPP experts (and) external consultants. We are also consulting the bank and the European Commission. We seek to have a solution, but I cannot say at the moment if we will manage to achieve it,“ he told reporters.
Neverovic said that he does not want to discuss the possibility of terminating the contract with Nukem and choosing another contractor. „We are focusing on all the issues regarding the work of the current contractor,“ he said.
If the contract were terminated, Lithuania would lose several tens of millions of euros. „We'd be speaking about losing tens of millions of euros if this happened,“ the minister said.
The project is estimated to cost around 200 million euros and a part of the money has already been paid.
European donors last December suspended funding for the plant's spent nuclear fuel storage facility, known as B1, and gave Lithuania until the end of March to reach an agreement with Nukem. If no agreement is reached, EU funding may be discontinued.
The consortium of Nukem Technologies, which is controlled by Russia's energy giant Rosatom, and GNS is implementing multi-billion-litas decommissioning projects at the Ignalina plant, which are running years behind schedule. The companies are building a solid radioactive waste storage facility complex, known as B1/2/3, and an interim spent fuel storage facility, known as B1, initially estimated to cost 123 million euros and 193 million euros, respectively.