Principles of Radioactive Waste management
Radioactive waste may first be stored for a certain time before being deposited permanently in a repository. This ensures that the environment and human health are protected now and in the future. The structure of the repository, the packing of waste in barrels and disposal containers, and the method used to close the repository all help to isolate radioactive waste from the environment and people in accordance with the principle of the barrier safety system (drawing, p. 12). Long-term surveillance is carried out after closure of the repository.
Low- and intermediate level Radioactive Waste from generation to final disposal
LILW generated by NEK is treated, conditioned and stored at NEK while the plant is operational. As a compulsory public utility service, ARAO is authorized to receive, transport, treat, condition and store institutional RW. Part of ARAO’s public utility service obligation also includes the planning, construction and operation of the repository and the disposal of LILW.
High level Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel from generation to final disposal
SF from NEK is first stored in the spent fuel pool, which is located, together with the active cooling systems, in the spent fuel building. The plan is for the SF to be subsequently moved to the passive dry storage facility at the NEK site.
NEK began constructing the dry storage facility at the beginning of 2021. It is projected to operate between 2023 and 2103.
The duration of storage is determined with regard to the cooling of SF and the optimal filling of disposal containers under two scenarios:
- duration of storage of 60 years after the closure of NEK up to 2103 (optimal solution);
- duration of storage of 32 years after the closure of NEK up to 2075 (alternative solution).
The SF dry storage facility at NEK will be used to store all HLW and SF generated at NEK until the deep geological repository is constructed.