On 24 February, the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority (hereinafter – DSA) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (hereinafter – IAEA) signed a cooperation agreement for the participation in the project “Improving the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management at Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant” (hereinafter – the Project). This is an important step that brings even more international experience and knowledge required for the unique activities of the Project and the search for innovative solutions in radioactive waste management. DSA, together with the State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate (hereinafter – VATESI) are partners of SE INPP in the implementation of the Project.
One of the tasks of the Project is to assess the possibility of transforming the INPP bituminous radioactive waste storage facility into a permanent repository.
During the operation of INPP, SE INPP accumulated over 14 thousand cubic meters of final treated bituminous waste in the bituminous radioactive waste storage facility. The final disposal of the storage facility must be carried out safely and in a timely manner so as not to impose an unreasonable burden on future generations. Currently, neither SE INPP nor the rest of the world have experience in the final disposal of bituminous waste, therefore, unique and innovative solutions and their implementation opportunities will be sought during international cooperation.
Carrying out the final disposal of bituminous radioactive waste is a knowledge and resource intensive task for the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant, therefore efficient international cooperation will contribute to its successful implementation. Engineering, geological, geotechnical, geodetic and other research were carried out to justify the conversion of the storage facility. Based on these studies, decision on the possibility of reconstructing the storage facility into the permanent repository will be made. After examining the above-mentioned documents and receiving the conclusions and recommendations of international experts, VATESI will make decisions on the methods of final disposal of bituminous radioactive waste proposed by SE INPP.
“The stage of preparation of the permanent repository concept is the most difficult because it is based on its results that a decision will be made about the possibility to transform the storage facility into a permanent repository. We are convinced that in active cooperation with VATESI, IAEA and DSA experts, unique conceptual solutions for final waste storage will be developed, which can be used in further stages of project and will form the basis for other successful radioactive waste management projects worldwide,” said Audrius Kamienas, Director General of SE INPP.
The project “Improving the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management at Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant” is funded by the Norway Grants and is aimed at developing the economy of environment, energy, climate change and low-carbon technologies.
The project is administered by the CPMA European Economic Area and Norwegian Programs Division.