The decommissioning of eight Soviet-designed nuclear reactors in Lithuania, Bulgaria and Slovakia was a condition for the countries’ EU accession. We found that the EU funding programmes set up to assist with meeting this requirement have not created the right incentives for timely and cost-effective decommissioning. While some progress has been made, key infrastructure projects have experienced delays, and the critical challenges involved in working in the controlled areas still lie ahead. By 2020, EU support should have reached 3.8 billion euro. The estimated total cost of decommissioning will be at least 5.7 billion euro. If the cost of final disposal of high-level waste is included, this total could double.
Special report No 22/2016: EU nuclear decommissioning assistance programmes in Lithuania, Bulgaria and Slovakia: some progress made since 2011, but critical challenges ahead