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«IAEA-TECDOC-1553 Low and Intermediate Level Waste Repositories: Socioeconomic Aspects and Public Involvement Proceedings of a workshop held in ...»

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These studies help in establishing independent safety assessment by the professional bodies.

This in turn also convinces the local public. BRNS also provides financial assistance to seminars/workshops conducted by professional organizations on various topics of relevance to nuclear power and radioactive waste management.

The regulatory authorities also carry out independent R&D activities to reconfirm and validate the safety assessments. This helps in building public confidence and acceptance. A Safety Research Institute at Kalpakkam conducts research on all aspects of environmental safety with emphasis on safety assessment of NSDFs and related subjects.

2.5 Media relations

A good relationship is also established with the professional journalists working in the media.

The bi-annual journalists meeting is a regular feature where seminars are conducted highlighting the technology developments and safe practices for the disposal of radioactive waste. Thus, regular and correct publicity is ensured through the media. The media not only covers information at national level but also at the regional level. Popular programmes for the general public are telecast on various topics relevant to nuclear energy including the efforts of DAE toward societal development.

2.6 Public Awareness Programme

The Indian Nuclear Society (INS) conducts a full day workshop at various locations all over the country for professionals, society leaders, media, state officials and other prominent persons, who help in creating social image building. These workshops highlight the positive impact of nuclear energy in medicine and agriculture, in addition to emphasizing safe management of radioactive waste.

2.7 Printed Information A great deal of printed information such as annual reports, newsletters, brochures, papers and publications are made available both on the national and local level.

2.8 Political influence In certain cases, local political influence is used to promote the acceptance of the repository, keeping in mind the economic development of the region promoted by these local political leaders. In certain cases political opposition is countered by use of persuasion, education and promoting awareness among various sections of the regional society, which helps in eventually changing the attitudes of the local public and helps in countering the political opposition. Regular visits by parliamentarians and members of state legislatures are conducted to the nuclear power and NSDF sites.


The major reasons for the satisfactory situation in India related to NSDF are early siting, colocation with the nuclear power plants, and avoiding build-up of waste inventory. Research and development activities in all aspects of design and safety assessment of NSDFs also started along with inception of nuclear energy programme.

In India, it is recognized that radioactive waste management involves both technical and societal dimensions, which are linked very closely and cannot be dissociated. It is a policy of DAE to discuss the nuclear power and radioactive waste management programmes and policies with the public to enhance the public confidence, trust and acceptability.

Developing and operating of Baldone repository “radons” A. Abramenkovs Ministry of Environment, Hazardous Wastes Management State Agency, Salaspils, Latvia Abstract In 1959, the Soviet government decided to construct the near surface radioactive waste repository “Radons” near the Baldone city. It was put in operation in 1962. Changes in the development of the repository were induced by the necessity to upgrade it for disposal of radioactive wastes from the decommissioning of the Salaspils Research Reactor (SRR). The safety assessment for the necessary upgrades of the repository was performed during 2000-2001 under the PHARE project. The outline design for new vaults and interim storage for long lived radioactive wastes was elaborated during 2003-2004. The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for upgrade of Baldone repository was performed during 2004-2005. It was determined that additional effort would be required to solve local social issues in order to continue with the operation and upgrade of repository. It was shown by EIA, that the local population has a negative opinion against the upgrade of the repository in Latvia. The main recommendations for upgrades were connected with increasing of the safety of the repository, increasing of PR activities for education of the society, and developing compensation mechanisms for the local municipality.


The national radioactive waste repository “Radons” is located in the Baldone site near the capital of Latvia – Riga. It was put into operation in 1962. The repository was originally built according to former USSR design as a near surface “Radons” –type repository with common vaults.

Since 1995, after introduction of new technology providing the possibility of retrieval of the radioactive waste containers, the new seventh vault was put into operation.

On 16 May 1995, the Cabinet of Ministers made Order No. 263 to shut down the Salaspils Research Reactor, and the SRR was shutdown on 19 June 1998. According to Order No. 57 of the Cabinet of Ministers in 26 October 1999, which accepts the option to direct dismantling of SRR to “green field”, the upgrade of the national radioactive waste repository was initiated.

The national strategy for radioactive waste management was developed and comprises a series of 13 actions (together with budgetary implications) that should guarantee safe management of radioactive waste in Latvia up to 2010, hence up to the complete dismantling of the Salaspils research reactor. This strategy largely relies on the recommendations of the EC-funded study that was completed in 2001 [1], as well as, several studies for decommissioning of Salaspils research reactor [2-4] The Government of Latvia on 26 June 2003 decided to start the upgrade of the Baldone repository.

The outline design for additional vaults and interim storage for long lived radioactive waste was elaborated during 2003–2004 under an EC-funded project. To meet all the requirements of the national regulations, the EIA studies were performed during 2004-2005.


The “Radons” Radioactive wastes repository occupies a 7 ha territory and consists of 2 parts – “A” supervision part and “B” – control area with the vaults (Fig. 1). The environmental laboratory, decontamination building, and garage building are located within the territory of the repository. The emergency group of the hazardous wastes management state agency is based on the infrastructure of the repository. There are 7 vaults in the control area of the Baldone repository. Three of them are concrete, underground 200 m3 vaults (1, 3, 6), 2 are concrete underground 40 m3 vaults (4, 5) and one vault is a 200 m3 stainless steel underground tank used for liquid waste (2), but now the waste has been removed and the tank was cleaned up. As vaults for solid waste were filled, a new 1200 m3 vault was constructed (7) and maintenance was started at the end of 1995.

3. DEVELOPMENT OF REPOSITORY DURING 2000- 2005 YEARS It was shown [1-6], that the decommissioning of Salaspils research reactor causes significant changes in radioactive waste management system of Latvia. The following upgrades were

performed at the repository:

⎯ Security systems (2002-2004);

⎯ Radiation protection upgrades (2003-2004);

⎯ Upgrade of the 7th vault;

⎯ Transport systems upgrades (2003-2005);

⎯ Radioactive wastes packages upgrade, including tests (2000-2004);

⎯ Emergency group upgrade (2004-2005).

The following studies were performed for improving of radioactive waste management

system in Latvia and hazardous wastes management agency:

⎯ Safety assessment for planned upgrades of capacity of repository – PHARE project (2000-2001);

⎯ Preparation of outline design for additional vaults and interim storage of long lived radioactive wastes- PHARE project (2003-2005);

⎯ Environmental Impact Assessment studies for upgrade of repository (2004-2005) [5].


Operational activities at the repository are connected with the interactions with the local municipality of Baldone. The opinion of the Baldone population related to the impacts from the repository is shown in Fig. 2. The main problems of the population are summarized in the Table 1.

Table 1 The main problems for the population of Baldone municipality (public opinion).

–  –  –

According to the EIA studies, about 62% of the population is against the upgrade of the repository. The main reasons for this opinion are connected with “fear factor”, leak of information and the previous problems in communication with the Government. Main

recommendations of the EIA studies are:

⎯ Increase safety of repository;

⎯ Develop PR activities for education of society;

⎯ Develop the compensation mechanism for local municipality.

To develop the positive cooperation between the local municipality and repository, the

following measures are being performed:

⎯ Preparation and submission of quarterly activities report for the local municipality;

⎯ Preparation and submission of annual environment monitoring report;

⎯ Participation in the renovation activities of the middle school of Baldone;

⎯ Support of different projects of the Baldone municipality;

⎯ Development of a waste minimization programme for the decommissioning of the Salaspils research reactor.The last issue includes, not only the protection of the population of the Baldone municipality, but also measures for protection of the environment by using modern technologies for conditioning the radioactive wastes at the Salaspils site.

5. CONCLUSIONS The following conclusions are provided for the Lativan experiences in managing radioactive waste in the country.

⎯ The national near surface disposal site for radioactive wastes exist in Latvia.

⎯ The decommissioning of Salaspils research reactor has caused upgrades to the Baldone repository.

⎯ Additional efforts must be performed to develop cooperation with the local municipality to support the radioactive wastes management system in Latvia.

⎯ The education of society is necessary for further development of radioactive wastes management system in Latvia.

–  –  –

[1] Long term safety analysis of the Baldone radioactive waste repository & updating of waste acceptance criteria", Study performed by Cassiopee. EUR 20054 en (December 2001). The report can be downloaded from the following website:


[2] NOELL-KRC: Conceptual study for the Decommissioning, dismantling and radioactive waste treatment of the Salaspils Nuclear Research Reactor. Total dismantling to green field condition. Final report. Germany, Wuerzburg, 1999.

[3] NOELL-KRC: Conceptual study for the Decommissioning, Disposal and Residual Waste Treatment for the Research Reactor Salaspils: Decommissioning strategies, Final report, Germany, Wuerzburg, 1998.

[4] CROSS, M.T., CLAYTON, A., BISHOP, A., KINSCOTT, C., GARCIA QUIROS J.M., GARCIA-BERMEJO FERNANDEZ, R., A report produced for European Commission TSAF/WL/262/PH2 (Lat), December 1999 [5] Final report of Environmental Impact Assessment studies for construction of two additional radioactive wastes vaults and interim storage for long lived radioactive wastes in radioactive wastes repository “Radons”. Riga, September 2005.

[6] INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY, Financial Aspects of Decommissioning, IAEA-TECDOC-1476, IAEA, Vienna (2005).

Local municipality and public involvement into site selection process of near surface repository for low and intermediate level radioactive waste in Lithuania D. Janėnas Radioactive Waste Management Agency (RATA), Vilnius, Lithuania Abstract Radioactive waste management agency (RATA) being responsible for radioactive waste disposal in Lithuania currently is searching a site for construction of near surface repository (NSR) for low and intermediate level radioactive waste (LILW). Approximately 100 000 m³ of LILW from Ignalina NPP (INPP) should be disposed of in the near future since decision was taken by Lithuanian Government to shut-down power plant by year 2009 and to start immediate dismantling. Essential factor in the site selection for NSR is public acceptance. According to Lithuanian legislation design of NSR can’t be started without approval of local municipality. Two candidate sites for NSR were identified close to the main source of waste – INPP. This paper presents results how general public and municipality of Ignalina were informed about planned activity and safety aspects of NSR. A number of benefits and socioeconomical measures were asked by municipality to compensate long term negative psychological impact of NSR to the region. INPP was constructed close to borders between Latvia and Belarus. Those countries expressed concern about the Lithuania’s plans to construct NSR close to their borders. Consultations with neighbouring countries are described in this paper as well.


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