DISPOSAL OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE
The National Radioactive Waste Repository in Mochovce
At present, there is only one nuclear installation used for disposal of radioactive waste in Slovakia – the National Radioactive Waste Repository in the locality of Mochovce. This nuclear installation is intended for permanent storage of low-activity and very low-level waste without its subsequent retrieval. Higher activity waste requires a higher level of isolation from the environment, and therefore it cannot be stored in this type of repository. Here, higher activity waste refers to intermediate-level waste and spent nuclear fuel, which has not been defined as radioactive waste yet (high-level waste is not produced in the SR).
As for the construction features, this nuclear installation is divided into two parts. The first part serves to dispose low-activity waste in the fiber-reinforced concrete containers, which are placed into reinforced concrete boxes arranged in detached double-rows. The double-row capacity amounts to 3 200 fiber-reinforced concrete containers. The operation of the repository started in 2001. There are currently three disposal double-rows at the repository site. The construction of the third disposal double-row was reimbursed from EU resources, specifically from the Bohunice International Decommissioning Support Fund. Altogether, the construction of 7.5 double-rows is under consideration. The waste not only from the decommissioning of the nuclear power plants A1 and V1, but also the waste from the operation of the nuclear power plants in Mochovce and in Jaslovské Bohunice, are disposed in this repository. The disposal of operational waste is reimbursed by the licence holder for the operation of a nuclear power plant.
The second part serves to dispose very low–level waste in high volume bags and drums. Taking into account that this waste has only a slightly higher activity than the limit for its release into the environment, the packed assemblies are placed directly into the disposal lines, where the compacted clay functions as the primary barrier. The construction of the repository for very low-level waste is divided into three stages. In the first stage, the disposal module (commissioned in 2016) for 20 000 m3 of very low-level waste was constructed for the needs of the nuclear power plant A1 decommissioning. The construction was reimbursed from the resources of the National Nuclear Fund. In the second stage, the second module for 9 000 m3 of very low-level waste – funded from EU resources – was built for the needs of the nuclear power plant V1 decommissioning. The construction of the third module for very low-level waste from other nuclear installations is under consideration.
Disposal line for very low-level waste. Source: www.javys.sk.
The National Nuclear Fund funds activities related to the disposal of radioactive waste from the decommissioning of the nuclear power plants A1 and V1, which generates part of costs of total financial resources spent for the decommissioning of these nuclear power plants. The disposed very low-level waste originates, due to a larger amount of contaminated soils and concrete, mainly from the nuclear power plant A1 decommissioning. The financial resources are also spent for the construction of new disposal structures such as double-rows for low activity waste, disposal capacities for very low-level waste or safety monitoring systems. The resources spent for such activities are provided from the sub-account e), dedicated to these purposes. The disposal low-activity and very low-level waste from the nuclear power plant A1 and the construction of respective disposal capacities are fully reimbursed from the National Nuclear Fund resources, namely from the levy intended to cover the historical debt. Regarding the nuclear power plant V1, these activities are co-financed from EU resources; specifically from the Bohunice International Decommissioning Support Fund.