MINSK, 10 November (BelTA) – Plans have been made to build the first startup complex of the Belarusian nuclear power plant's radioactive waste burial facility by 2028, BelTA learned from the national report on fulfilling the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management. The report has been presented before the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
According to the source, high level waste will be stored at premises of the Belarusian nuclear power plant as long as the power plant remains in operation. Low level waste and intermediate level waste will be refined and stored at the Belarusian nuclear power plant's radioactive waste storage facility for ten years.
After the temporary storage period is over, the waste will be moved to the burial facility for storage and/or burial. In line with Belarus' radioactive waste management strategy there are plans to build the first stage of the radioactive waste burial facility by 2028.
The Energy Ministry and the nuclear and energy research institute Sosny have signed a contract on developing the conceptual design of the burial facility for storing and burying the radioactive waste (except for high level waste) that will be generated in the course of operation and decommissioning of the Belarusian nuclear power plant on the basis of reference technologies and existing designs.
The Russian R&D group Eleron (part of the Russian state nuclear energy industry corporation Rosatom) has been subcontracted to design the radioactive waste burial facility.
The work will result in the conceptual design of the entire burial facility and the actual design of the first stage of the facility. The flowchart for organizing the construction work (stage by stage) will be prepared as well as a draft proposal for working out the justification of investment to build the radioactive waste burial facility.
Once the nuclear power plant is decommissioned and dismantled, intermediate level waste and low level waste will be moved for burial to the radioactive waste burial facility.
In line with the strategy on managing radioactive waste of the Belarusian nuclear power plant there are plans to consider the advisability of building the facility for burying high level radioactive waste in deep geological formations. A set of scientific research projects will be carried out to work out methods for handling high level radioactive waste. The final decision on how to handle high level radioactive waste will be made after the research projects are completed.
The report also reads that in line with the Belarusian-Russian intergovernmental agreement on building the nuclear power plant, spent nuclear fuel, which was acquired from Russia, is to be returned for processing to Russia on the terms the sides will determine by a separate agreement.