Management of institutional radioactive waste
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Institutional radioactive waste is the result of the use of nuclear energy and ionizing radiation, and is produced by various processes in medicine, research and industry. As the quantities of such waste are small (around 2 m3 annually), we also refer to ‘small producers’ in relation to these activities. Holders of radioactive waste must hand over that waste to ARAO – Agency for Radwaste management that is an authorised public service provider with the appropriate infrastructure, equipment and expertise to be able to provide vital infrastructure support to the performance of socially beneficial activities.
As a compulsory national public utility service, the management of institutional radioactive waste includes:
- Collection: the acceptance and transport of radioactive waste (RAW) produced by known holders in Slovenia, in cases where a source is found and the holder or producer is not known, and in case of an accident involving RAW.
- Treatment and conditioning: treatment and conditioning of newly received and already stored RAW into a form suitable for storage, and the treatment and conditioning of RAW in order to reduce its volume and improve safety. This includes also the conditioning of RAW for shipping abroad for recycling, or the possible delivering of a radiation source for reuse to another licensed RAW holder.
- Storage: the storage of RAW in the Central Radwaste Storage Facility (CSRAO), checking of the state of RAW content and packaging, the maintenance of database on the storage inventory, and the search for options for the recycling and reuse of used radiation sources. Stored RAW may be cleared if its activity falls below the legally determined clearance level.
In addition to the above, ARAO also manages and operates the Central Radwaste Storage Facility (CSRAO), which stores institutional radioactive waste.
Radioactive waste received is managed in such a way as to guarantee compliance with the standards set for protecting human life and the environment.