«IAEA-TECDOC-1553 Low and Intermediate Level Waste Repositories: Socioeconomic Aspects and Public Involvement Proceedings of a workshop held in ...»
⎯ expression of the consent by the Municipality to further operation of the repository, ⎯ appointment of the Committee of Radiological Protection of the Rozan Commune ⎯ by the Municipality to co-operate with the operator in reference to conditions of the repository operation, including dosimetric control of the delivered waste, ⎯ providing fair information by the Municipality to the community of Rozan and the media about problems related to the repository operation and its impact on the environment, ⎯ prohibition to store in the NRWR other waste except that produced by national users of radioactive sources or from production and applications of isotopes in medicine, research and industry, ⎯ providing information to the Municipality about dates of waste delivery to the repository and enabling representatives of the Municipality to observe the unloading actions as well as giving them access to shipment documents, ⎯ making the equipment available to members of the Committee of Radiological Protection, and upon appropriate training, enabling them to make independent measurements of the dose rate, ⎯ at the request of the Municipality, preparation and delivering of lectures for inhabitants of the community about radiation, its properties and influence on the living organisms, as well as, enabling citizens to visit the repository and the Radioactive Waste Management Plant.
The above specified provisions have been implemented by establishing regular meetings with the Rozan Council members, and with the members of the Committee of Radiological Protection of Rozan Commune. Information about the facility is provided and discussed during public meetings, public hearings, lectures, seminars, open door days, and through international cooperation. Public information is also distributed in brochures, newspaper articles, annual environmental reports, films presented on television, and exhibitions at the Information Centre, Swierk.
The meeting with the Rozan Council Members is held once a year. Usually there is a Session of the Council fully devoted to the safety of the repository operation. The session is opened for everyone who wants to attend, including media both local and nationwide. Meetings with the member of the Committee of Radiological Protection are organized quarterly and on the request of each side. These meetings are devoted to the current issues of repository operation.
The last public hearing took place in 2004 in connection with the planned development of Rozan facility. According to the Act of Parliament (No 62, 2001) on the protection of environmental, it is required to involve the public in the EIA process.
3.2 Socioeconomic issue The radioactive waste collected in the repository in the years 1961 -1988 and the manner of its disposal, especially the used sealed radioactive sources and waste placed in the moat with use of concrete as a backfill material, made the claim to remove all waste and transfer it to another repository practically unfeasible. And although the claims “take the waste to places where people do not live” were raised, they never were the factor that caused the conclusion of the agreement. Moreover, since the waste stored in the Rozan repository is produced in all regions of the country (hospitals, scientific centres, and industrial plants) another frequently raised argument was avoided, i.e. “store the waste in places, where it is produced”.
Apart from safety aspects, another important factor that had an influence on cooperation of the repository operator in Rozan with its community and authorities is the socioeconomic issue. From the very beginning of cooperation with the operator, the authorities of the Rozan community stressed that losses had been incurred by the commune due to reluctance of investors to invest in the territory and the lack of tourists visiting where a radioactive waste repository is located. The authorities of the commune demanded a financial compensation for the lost profits, and lack of the possibility to fulfil the claims of the commune. This led to a serious crisis in relationships between the operator and the municipality of the commune, culminating in a blockade of the access road to the repository and preventing the waste shipments.
In the years 1988 – 1992, the Rozan community started receiving financial support from the state budget. This was understood as support to the community accepting waste generated in the benefit of the whole country, and as a compensation of inconvenience from the repository operation. The support had indirect form and was used for improvement of the municipal infrastructure. With the lack of possibility to receive additional means for investments in Rozan, and at the same time lack of appropriate legal regulations requiring the payment of compensations to the commune, resulted in the blockade crisis in 1996. The crisis lasted for about six months. It was agreed that the National Atomic Energy Agency supervising the repository operator would include a provision in the new Atomic Law about payments to the commune on whose territory the National Radioactive Waste Repository was located.
Since 2000 by the provision of Article 57 of the new Atomic Law, the Rozan community has been receiving an annual payment from the national budget. The value of this payment is ca.
2 120 000 EUR which makes up about 50% of the total annual budget of the Rozan community.
4. CURRENT SITUATION IN PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT AND THE COOPERATION
WITH THE AUTHORITIES OF THE ROZAN COMMUNEDue to the undertaken actions and as a result of negotiations, the relationships of the operator of the Radioactive Waste Management Plant and the body supervising its activity, the Ministry of Economy and Labour, with the local authorities and the public have been successfully regulated. The RWMP has received the permission of the local authorities to develop the repository by adapting a section of the south moat for disposal purposes and at the same time to increase the capacity of the whole site. The approval to operate the repository until 2020 has been granted by the Rozan authorities.
It should be also stressed that the results of the international cooperation (WAMAP Mission), and the results of the PHARE project “Improvement of Storage Conditions at the National Radioactive Waste Repository”, implemented in 2003 – 2004, were significant in obtaining the approval for development of the repository and its further operation.
Fig.1. Location of the Rozan repository Fig.2. Layout of the storage disposal facilities Socioeconomic issues and public involvement practices and approaches for developing and operating repositories for low and intermediate level waste I.L. Tuturici ANDRAD Agentia Nationala pentru Deseuri Radioactive, Romania Abstract The national radioactive waste management agency, ANDRAD, is by law responsible for disposal of all radioactive waste arising in Romania. It operates the subsurface repository Baitha Bihor used exclusively for institutional waste and has recently taken over the development of a near surface repository: a potential site has been identified within the municipality of Saligny, near to the Cernavoda NPP. Public involvement and other non-technical matters have been included in the repository development. Social, economic and environmental impacts at local and regional levels have been considered to be a significant part of the preparatory stages of facility operation. Corresponding measures have been identified to reach public acceptability of the repository, but they will be extended for the whole facility lifetime from the initial planning phase through siting, construction, operation, and closure, to the post-closure institutional control. As a supportive argument collocation of the disposal facility with the Cernavoda NPP represents the most important factor for promoting the repository site selection. It accelerates the repository development process, while minimizing project costs and the non-radiological impacts.
Low and intermediate level wastes (LILW) are currently produced in Romania by nuclear power generation and nuclear research as well as by radioisotope applications in medicine, industry, agriculture and other socioeconomic fields. The responsible organization for coordination of the safe management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste in Romania and especially for the development and administration of the waste disposal facilities is ANDRAD (National Agency for Radioactive Waste). ANDRAD is subordinated to Ministry of Economy and Commerce and started its operation in September 2004. The option selected by ANDRAD for the long term management of LILW is disposal in a near-surface facility.
By observing the varying stages of repository development and implementation at the international scale and understanding the characteristic needs for the planning stages of disposal facilities, ANDRAD has determined that it should start to develop and implement technical procedures dealing with specific issues relevant to repository development, safety assessment and environmental impact assessment. Also, ANDRAD determined that many non-radiological factors and issues are important for repository development and operation.
From the initial planning stage; such considerations should be addressed as part of environmental impact assessment and approvals process for the repository.
2. OBJECTIVE, SCOPE AND STRUCURE
The objective of this paper is to introduce, in a generic sense, the elements that could comprise the socioeconomic and non-radiological environmental impact assessment for ANDRAD’s LILW repository. The scope of the paper includes the necessary discussion of some of the social, economic and non-radiological environmental impacts relevant for development of ANDRAD’s near surface disposal facility and illustrates some impact management measures. The paper does not include a description of specific assessment methods.
Section 1 represents the introduction. Section 2 describes, in a short form the objective, scope and structure of the paper. Section 3 discusses briefly the repository concept and establishes the phases of its life cycle. Section 4 presents the basic elements of the national policy, public involvement and cost considerations. Section 5 describes briefly the potential impact on the natural and human environment at the level of local and regional community. Section 6 refers to possible impact management measures. The main conclusions of the paper are presented in Section 7.
3. REPOSITORY CONCEPT AND LIFE CYCLE
The “near-surface” disposal of LILW produced by operation of the power units at Cernavoda Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) and by the nuclear research activities at Nuclear Research Institute (NRI) Pitesti refers to a facility to be emplaced in the exclusion area of the NPP. The selected site for emplacement of the repository is situated on a flat surface on the top of a hill at an altitude of +60 m above sea level. The near surface LILW repository will consist of a number of disposal units located below the original ground surface. The repository should provide sufficient capacity for all the LILW-SL generated by the NPP and by NRI Pitesti. The planed surface of the repository enclosure represents about 7 ha.
The estimated volumes of packaged wastes generated by one CANDU 6 unit to be disposed
The average specific activity of alpha emitters for all the waste packages to be included in the disposal facility, estimated at the end of the institutional control, should not exceed 370 MBq/t. In addition, the maximum specific activity of alpha emitters for each waste package will be limited to 3.7 GBq/t, and in no circumstances shall exceed 18.5 GBq/t.
The repository concept is based on fully engineered barriers arranged in the host rock. The conditioned waste form is the first barrier system of the repository. The second barrier system is formed by repository's structures, namely the disposal cell, drainage systems and rainfall protection cap. The third barrier system consists of the clayey geological strata.
The concept itself includes two principal facilities, namely the waste treatment and conditioning plant and the disposal facility (see Fig.1). The treatment and conditioning plant is designed to process all incoming LILW using two verified methods for solid radioactive wastes, i.e. treatment by super-compaction (force, 10-20 MN) and conditioning by cementation.
The disposal facility will consist of 24 to 36 cells, divided into two or three groups, each of 12 cells. One group of 12 cells will contain 2 rows of 6 cells, each having a capacity of 216 concrete modules (2.25x2.25x2.20 m) arranged in 3 layers. The concrete modules will contain, for example, the pellets produced by the super-compaction of 218 L drums, embedded in concrete.
Actually the works for the development of the repository are in the siting phase and the following results were obtained. The planning work included facility conceptual design and studies of waste form and packaging, waste emplacement methodology with possible retrievability option, transportation access options, closure, and institutional control after closure and project financing arrangements as well as the examination of alternative disposal options. Repository siting work has encompassed the process of identifying more candidate sites for repository development. During this phase, a broad range of criteria were used to identify suitable sites potentially capable of meeting national policy objectives and specific project approval criteria and requirements, as well as, scientific and technical requirements;
the range of criteria employed included aspects of both the natural and human environment.
At the end of the process, the Saligny site was selected as the candidate site.
As recommended by the specific safety documents of the IAEA and recently established by
the national specific legislation and regulations, the life phases of the Saligny repository are:
⎯ Planning and sitting phase: repository conceptual design, sitting and process planning, public involvement, environmental impact studies and impact management planning.
⎯ Review and approval phase: repository engineering design, environmental impact assessment, safety analysis for the purposes of approval and licensing, and adoption of impact management plan.