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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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Still Norway had problems with radioactive waste storage capacity and applied for and got a license for a shallow landfill close to the waste treatment plant at Institute for Energiteknikk (IFE), the only owner of research reactors. Shortly after the license was granted, about 1000 drums were buried in the repository. Safety calculations were based on corrosion of the drums in 10 years and the content would disintegrate and leak to the nearby river in 30 years. The exposure to locals was expected to be less than 1µSv/y.

No leaks from the repository were ever detected, but the local community was not convinced and started to push for removal of the waste. When the preparation for a new repository started, public opinion demanded removal of the old repository and transfer of the waste to the new facility. Figure 1 shows the condition of the drums at the time of removal.

Once again the public opinion had overruled the experts. It is important to get acceptance both from experts and the public when making plans for waste repositories.

Fig. 1 Removing of old repositories

2. HISTORY – THE WAY TO THE NEW REPOSITORY

In 1989, the Kveseth Committee was appointed to: prepare plans and methods for deposition of radioactive waste in Norway. By 1991, the Kveseth Committee recommended the Killingdal Mines in Sør- Trøndelag County and the construction of a new facility built in rock near IFE, Kjeller. Out of the original 52 possible sites identified near IFE, thirteen possible sites were sited by map and air photography studies. These were further reduced to three

suitable sites:

⎯ Kukollen Mines in Sørum municipality in Akershus county ⎯ Killingdal Mines in Sør-Trøndelag county ⎯ Himdalen in Aurskog-Høland municipality in Akershus county During the meetings with local communities, plans were presented for a new national repository and explanations were given on what impact this would have to a local community.

No financial or economic support or jobs to the local community were promised. No taxes or compensation will be paid to the region or the local community. In Norway a repository is looked upon as a matter of national interest. The location is decided by the government and this cannot be opposed by local authorities.

A consequence analysis report completed in 1992 recommended the construction of a new facility in Himdalen. On 28 April 1994, the Norwegian Parliament passed a resolution to build a Combined Storage and Repository for Low- and Intermediate Level Radioactive Waste in Himdalen. The IAEA Waste Management and Technical Review Programme (WATRAP) team wee sent in 1995 to evaluate politics and facilities related to management and treatment.

3. OWNER The owner of the repository is the Directorate of Public construction and Property (Statsbygg). The technical basis for the license for construction is based on:

⎯ Technical design of the facility ⎯ Geology at the location ⎯ Hydrology and water flow in the rock masses ⎯ Earth quakes, frequency and loading ⎯ Safety assessment based on scenarios for ”probable” and ”improbable” events.

4. CONSTRUCTION The construction of the repository was completed in about one year. The key events during

this portion of the project are as follows:

⎯ 28 February 1997: Licence for construction was given ⎯ April 1997: Construction work was started ⎯ 9 Mai 1997: Start of construction of the rock cavers ⎯ 30 April 1998: Licence for operation of KLDRA-Himdalen was given ⎯ 24 Sept. 1998: Presentation ceremony ⎯ Price tag: (approximately) 9 000 000 € The entrance to the new facility is shown in Figure 2, below.

Figure 2 Himdalen – The new LILW repository

5. OPERATOR - IFE The Institute for Energiteknikk (IFE) was designated as the operator of the repository. The

license for operation is based on the following features:

⎯ Description of waste treatment at IFE ⎯ Estimates of waste volumes and activity levels ⎯ Transport procedures ⎯ Operation processes and safety ⎯ Radiation protection An architectural rendering of the facility is shown in Figure 3 below.

Figure 3 KLDRA Himdalen Please note that the repository inclines upwards - into the mountain – not down. Any water would naturally be drain from the repository.

6. WASTE VOLUME AND ACTIVITY LEVEL

The Himdalen repository has a capacity of 10 000 units (drums) with low- and intermediate level radioactive waste. The repository can hold 7500 drums and the storage area sized for 2500 drums. The operational period is expected to continue up to 2030. At the time of closure the estimated radioactivity content will be about 520 TBq. After closing the installation will be subjected to surveillance in a time period of 300-500 years.

7. CONCLUSION The Himdalen site in combination with the chosen engineering concept is suitable for storage and disposal of the relative small amount of Norwegian low and intermediate level waste.

The Himdalen repository is open for the public and is visited by schools and local social organizations. Normally they combine a regular meeting with a visit to the facilities. People are allowed to walk into the repository and see where the waste is put and at the same time the precautions taken to avoid leakages of activity to the surroundings is explained. “Seeing is believing” is the best way to convince people!





Socioeconomic aspects in the development and operation of the national radioactive waste repository — Rozan W. Tomczak Radioactive Waste Management Plant, Otwock, Swierk, Poland Abstract The National Radioactive Waste Repository in Rozan (NRWR) has been operated since 1961. It is located on the territory of a former military fort, which was built in the years 1905-1908. The waste repository consists of four concrete constructions of the fort and a section of a dry moat adopted for the purpose of disposal. The NRWR is a near surface type repository assigned for disposal of short lived low and intermediate level waste and for temporary storage of long lived waste. The operation of the repository is conducted by the Radioactive Waste Management Plant (RWMP) which is a state public utility established by provision of Atomic Law in 2002. The access of the local community to information on the siting of the repository, performed during 1957 to 1960, as well as information about the assignment and construction of this facility was very limited. Also during its operation from 1961 to 1988, the information about the repository, including the results of the radiological monitoring and the impact of the repository on the environment reached the local community and the Rozan authorities only occasionally and in a limited scope. The situation was considerably changed in 1988, when a group of IAEA and other experts, invited by the Polish government, visited Poland to estimate the safety of the NRWR operation as part of the WAMAP Mission. Documents prepared for IAEA experts, including an up-dated safety report became accessible for the local authorities and the community of Rozan. On one hand this improved the cold relations of the local public and the Rozan authorities with the operator of the repository. And on the other hand, it made the local community realize that the information had been hidden from them, and it deepened the mistrust of the people and regarding the location and operation of the repository. Actions aiming at confidence building focused on the conclusion of an agreement with authorities of the community of Rozan, including the involvement of the local people in the decision making processes related to conditions and period of repository operation and in the process of environmental impact assessment. Honest information was provided to the media and the local population about matters related to the repository and a broad information campaign was run, mainly among the school youth. The agreement also included economic aspects related to the existence of the repository on the Rozan community territory, such as estimation of profits lost by the commune due to reluctance of investors to invest in this area, drop of tourist attractiveness in the regions of Rozan. There were multiple forms of compensation including financing of investments and then fees, sanctioned by law, to the commune from the state budget. Due to the undertaken actions and as a result of negotiations the relations of the operator and the body supervising its activity with local authority and public have been successfully regulated. The RWMP has received a permission to develop the repository and to continue its operation further, i.e. to 2020.

1. INTRODUCTION

The National Radioactive Waste Repository (NRWR) is located at Rozan on the Narew River, at the distance of 90 km northeast of Warsaw. To the north side of the fort there are houses, which were at the distance of 800 m at the time the repository was established. Currently there are houses at the distance of approximately 400m away. To the northeast at the distance of 800m is the Narew River. The territory surrounding the repository consists of agricultural land. The population of the Rozan community amounts to about 5000 inhabitants. The location of the repository is shown in Fig.1.

NRWR has been operated since 1961. It is constructed on site of an ex-military fort, which was built in the years 1905-1908. The waste repository consists of 4 concrete structures, partially covered with soil. A section of a dry moat surrounding this fort has also been adopted for the purpose of disposal. The NRWR is a near surface type repository assigned for disposal of short lived low and intermediate level waste and for storage of long lived waste.

The repository is operated by the Radioactive Waste Management Plant (RWMP) which is a state public utility established by the provision of Atomic Law in 2002. The layout of the storage/disposal facilities is shown in Fig.2.

2. SITING HISTORY

In Poland, the development of the nuclear technique and isotope applications started in the early 1950s. There was no organization at that time that would deal with the radioactive waste. The radioactive waste resulting from the nuclear technique and isotope applications in research, medicine and industry was collected and stored in the place of generation.

Therefore, in the late 1950s, there were hundreds of tons of solid waste and used sealed radioactive sources stored in different places around the country. It presented an urgent need to solve the problem of radioactive waste management.

The disposal facility was an essential issue, and it was decided to select one central repository.

Many ideas of underground disposal (in shelters, in decommissioned mine shafts, particularly salt mines and also in existing military fortifications) were taken into consideration.

Having in mind the nature of the waste to be disposed, as well as the requirements related to the location of a repository defined by the Authorized Plenipotentiary of the Government for Nuclear Energy Applications, the appointed Committee of Experts selected military fort located in Rozan on the Narew River out of many possible locations. Upon additional engineering and geological surveys, the Presidium of the Provincial Council of Warsaw issued a decision on the location of the Central Repository of Radioactive Waste in Rozan.

3. PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IN THE DEVELOPMENT AND OPERATION OF THEROZAN REPOSITORY

The access of the local community to information on the siting, assignment and construction of the facility was very limited during the years 1957-1960. Also in the period of its operation from 1961 to 1988, information about the repository, including the results of the radiological monitoring and the impact of the repository on the environment reached the local community and the Rozan authorities only occasionally and in a limited scope. The situation changed considerably in 1988, when a group of IAEA experts as part of the WAMAP Mission and others were invited by the Polish government to visit Poland and estimate the safety of the NRWR operation.

Documents prepared for IAEA experts, including a description of the repository siting process, as well as the updated operational safety report, became accessible to the local authorities and the community of Rozan. On one hand it improved the cold relationships of the local public and the Rozan authorities with the operator of the repository. On the other hand, it made the local community realize that the information had been hidden from them, and it deepened the mistrust of the people in matters related to the location and operation of the repository.

3.1 Public involvement practices Actions aiming at building the public confidence focused on conclusion of an agreement between the former operator of the NRWR, the Institute of Atomic Energy (IAE), and the local authorities. The first agreement in the history of contacts between these two partners was signed in July 1988.

The agreement defined principles of mutual communication, access of the local public and authorities to the results of radiological monitoring, safety documentation including EIA documents, and periodic visits to the Rozan repository by representatives of the local authorities for a general survey.

Following the access of representatives of the Rozan community to information on the NRWR’s operational safety, provisions about the responsibilities of the operator and the principles and scope of cooperation between representatives of the community and the operator of the repository were more precise and considerably increased. Theses provisions were reflected in the next agreement concluded in September 1994. The most important

aspects of this agreement included:



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