Tag Archives: nuclear waste disposal Nizhnekansky Rock Mass

300 Years and Counting: Nuclear Waste in Russia

City of Novouralsk Russia, Image from wikipedia

Russia opened it first ever repository for low and medium level nuclear waste last week in a major benchmark for the country’s radioactive waste …Alexander Nikitin, chairman of the Environmental Rights Center Bellona… called the opening of the repository “the first important step” of Russia’s National Operator for Radioactive waste management.

The 48,000 cubic meter facility in the Sverdlovsk Region’s close nuclear city of Novouralsk lies at shallow depth and operates as a repository for what state nuclear corporation Rosatom classifies as type 3 and 4 wastes.The new facility will be able to store solid waste in isolation from the outside environment for 300 years, ten times longer than any other current storage schemes in Russia….

The Novouralsk site…. is the first of several that will open in Russia in the coming years….Rosatom plans to build a repository for type 3 and 4 waste at the closed nuclear city of Ozersk, where the notorious Mayak Chemical Combine is located. Another is planned for the closed city of Seversk in the Tomsk Region.

A site for Rosatom types 1 and 2 waste, representing high level nuclear waste, is currently being sited at the Nizhnekansky Rock Mass in the Krasnoyarsk Region.If the rock mass proves suitable for deep geological storage of intermediate and high level waste, construction of the repository could begin in 2024. How much waste the site would hold has yet to be determined.

Excerpts from Charles Digges, Russia’s first nuclear waste repository starts operation, Bellona, December 14, 2016

Nuclear Waste Management in Russia

Aerial view of Krasnoyarsk, Siberia

NO RAO, the Russian state’s national operator for dealing with radioactive waste, has announced it will build an underground research laboratory near Krasnoyarsk to determine the feasibility of building a final disposal point for the country’s high-level radioactive waste by 2024,

The government agency reported it had chosen the Nizhnekansky Rock Mass in the Krasnoyarsk Region of Central Siberia as the site for the lab and eventual long term underground storage repository, ..The project to build the repository will only go ahead pending the results of the lab studies, NO RAO said.  Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom said that phase one of the proposed repository would hold 20,000 tons of intermediate and high level nuclear wastes, which would be retrievable, World Nuclear News reported…

Krasnoyarsk Citizens’ Assembly Chairman Alexei Menshikov was reported as saying the decision to build the repository in the region’s Nizhnekansky Rock Mass would not be decided without “wide public discussion and the creation of effective means for civil control, because [the repository] concerns environmental safety and the livelihood of citizens.”  Many of those present at the meeting pressed questions on precisely those points.

This area in Siberia is no stranger to massive nuclear undertakings. The nearby closed nuclear city of Zheleznogorsk through the decades of the Cold War produced bomb grade plutonium.  The city is also gearing up to build a new pilot spent nuclear fuel storage and reprocessing facility, which will reprocess two of Russia’s thorniest types of spent nuclear fuel: that produced by VVER-1000 reactors and spent fuel from Chernobyl-style RBMKs.

The search for a repository to store Russia’s high-level radioactive waste in safe conditions for the coming millennia has been in full swing since late last year when Rosatom in October 2013 unveiled a “roadmap” …This roadmap focused on the possibility of building as many as 30 long-term repositories as well as temporary waste storage facilities, 10 of which would be located in Northwest Russia, close to Norway and Finland, and didn’t discuss citing a repository in Siberia.

Excerpts from Charles Digges, http://www.bellona.org, Oct. 21, 2014