Latvian research reactor is shut down

Publish date: July 17, 1998

Written by: Igor Kudrik

The only Latvian research reactor was shut down for good in late June, reported RIA Novosti. Decommissioning of the reactor would take 10 years and would cost minimum $50 million.

The Salaspilssky research reactor was built back in 60-s by initiative of prominent Russian academician Igor Kurchatov. The reactor, located outside Latvian capital Riga, was operated by the Latvian Institute of Physics. This was a pool-type IRT-2000 research reactor with a 5000 kVt capacity. The reactor was primary used to investigate fast flow radiation processes in ion crystals.

The Latvian government justified the decision by the fact that the reactor ran out of nuclear fuel, which would have to be bought in Russia, and was too expensive to operate.

The decommissioning of the reactor, which has been idle the past years due to the lack of funds, would reportedly take 10 years and would cost $50 million as minimum. The funding sources were not specified.