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06 October 2022, 17:20

Construction of radioactive waste burial site contemplated in Belarus

Dmitry Pavlov
Dmitry Pavlov

MINSK, 6 October (BelTA) – Head of the Radioactive Waste Management Office of the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Department of the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry (Gosatomnadzor) Dmitry Pavlov talked to reporters in BelTA's press center on 6 October. Among other things the official spoke at length about plans to build a radioactive waste burial site in Belarus.

Public hearings of a draft strategy on managing radioactive waste are in progress in Belarus. Dmitry Pavlov said that the decision that the country needs to build a radioactive waste burial facility is the key aspect of the strategy. The facility is supposed to be able to store waste from all over the country for a long period of time. The strategy specifies the main requirements for choosing the site. In addition to natural factors it is necessary to evaluate social, economic, and environmental aspects. The entire territory of Belarus is under consideration. The area near the existing nuclear power plant is an option. The burial site may also be built in territories affected by the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. But no final decision has been made yet, Dmitry Pavlov said.

In his words, the radioactive waste burial facility is expected to have several modules. Individual modules will be built for every kind of waste. In ten years the facility will have to store the radioactive waste the Belarusian nuclear power plant is already generating. This is why plans have been made to build and commission the radioactive waste burial site within ten years. A shallow disposal approach has been chosen instead of deep geological repository, the official remarked.

The radioactive waste burial site will require additional infrastructure. The strategy envisages the site as a point of economic growth. The facility will have a potential for developing the region where it will be located, Dmitry Pavlov remarked.

Personnel training is also important. Plans have been made to work out an industry-specific training program based on a specialized educational institution.

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