atw 2015-01

inforum

atw Vol. 60 (2015) | Issue 1 ı January

OPERATION AND NEW BUILD 18

Waste acceptance criteria

The PHARE project PH4.10/94 had beneficiaries from multiple

countries. In Romania, the beneficiary was the “Regia

Autonoma pentru Metale Rare” (Rare Metals Autonomous

Authority – RMAR). The other co-beneficiaries were institutions

from Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia,

Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. The project

provided the beneficiary country with comprehensive information

on accepted EU practices in radioactive waste

management and disposal, critical assessment of the methods

employed in the beneficiary’s countries and methodology

for the development of radioactive Waste Acceptance

Criteria (WAC) for waste packages to ensure their safe

transportation, handling, storage and disposal. The technical

assistance provided for Romania covered the following:

a presentation of the waste packages acceptance criteria

methodology for all operating disposal facilities in

the countries of the European Union; the performance of a

technical study covering relevant aspects to define the

waste packages acceptance criteria; and the development

of the waste package acceptance criteria approach that

will be applied to the planned disposal facilities.

Waste characterization at Cernavoda NPP

The project 5812.06.04 was the last PHARE project implemented

in Romania in support of RWM activities. This project

was also the only project in support of RWM having as

beneficiary the nuclear operator: the Romanian National

Electrical Company (Societatea Nationala “Nuclearelectrica”

(SNN)). The project covered the aspects related to on-site

radioactive waste characterisation in order to achieve the

required level for accession to the European Union. The

activities carried out were concise and referred to: the classification

system based on physical form of the wastes

(solid, organic liquid, inflammable solid-liquid mixes); the

identification system, for each type of radioactive waste,

based on their source, substance, radionuclide content and

contact dose rate; and the on-site disposal facilities for each

type of radioactive waste. The project resulted in the setting

up of measuring equipment for waste characterisation,

the development of methodologies for characterising the

radionuclide content in low and intermediate level waste,

the establishment of a database based on the waste characterisation

system and the improvement of the capability of

personnel of Cernavoda NPP to implement the characterisation

programme. Last, but not least, a waste segregation

management according to disposal route was implemented

(e.g. free release, disposal in a landfill, disposal in a

near-surface repository, and long-term storage pending the

availability of a deep geological repository).

Spent Sealed Radioactive Sources (SSRS)

There was only one project implemented in Romania in respect

of the management of the SSRS: SSRS/P01 “Management

of Spent Sealed Radioactive Sources in Central

and Eastern Europe”. This project was the shortest project

in support of the RWM activities (12 months), and was

also an international one having five beneficiary countries.

During the project implementation, a study was performed

to consider the situation relating to the regulation and

management of spent sealed radioactive sources (SSRS) in

five of the Central and Eastern European (C&EE) countries

that were being considered for admission to the EU,

namely, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia

(two previous studies had considered the situation in the

current EU member states and in the Czech Republic, Estonia,

Hungary, Poland and Slovenia). It should be noted

that, at the date of the project, Romania was the only country

in the study that manufactured SRS and had one national

radioactive waste disposal facility that could accept

SSRS. In addition, there were two interim storage facilities

for SSRS. The project concluded that all the countries were

proceeding with their radioactive waste management

plans, taking account (to varying degrees) of international

standards and practices relating to acceptable dose uptakes,

environmental impact, etc. Such a situation was

similar to that relating to the EU member states that had

been studied, which had also not developed specific prescriptive

disposal criteria for universal application across

all states. Many improvements for radioactive waste management

were recommended to the states and the implementation

of these was expected to serve to further improve

the situation and provide a long-term safe environment

for the management of SSRS. In fact, the technical

assistance offered for Romania covered the following: detection

of radioactive material at the entrance of metal

scrap facilities and at national borders; understanding of

the full life-cycle of SRS, from manufacture through to disposal

in order to avoid accidental inclusion of SSRS in consignments

of scrap metal; development of the current regulations

in order to include waste categorisation, facility

licensing and SSRS disposal; and transferring of the old

database that included SRS and related information, kept

by CNCAN, to a new more practical one.

4. Projects related to On-Site Assistance

The project with reference 009-RO/PHARE-SCR/A6-C

was titled “Modernisation Project for Cernavoda NPP2 –

Environmental Impact Assessment“. It should be noted

that the aim of the project was not the assessment of the

safety of the power plant design itself, but of the manner in

which the safety-related, radiation protection and emergency

response systems already were or would be realised

at Cernavoda, and their compliance with Western standards

and practices as far as relevant to the EIA.

It was underlined that the overall radiation protection

situation at the current Unit 1, which was assumed to be

identical to that to be applied at Unit 2, was considered to

be in compliance with relevant international standards and

practices regarding the protection of both staff and population.

The significance of some minor deviations was considered

to be low and, additionally, they were understood

to be resolved before the Unit 2 was put into operation.

Furthermore, many design changes in the Cernavoda

Unit 2 were observed with respect to its reference Unit, the

Cernavoda Unit 1. Of these design improvements, the majority

were related to safety and the mitigation of postulated

accidents. Therefore, the dose estimates made for the

Unit 1 could be assumed to be conservative for the Unit 2.

The list of major changes planned for this unit included a

number of the components and systems, such as the Heat

Transport System (HTS) and its components, heat transport

auxiliary systems, safety systems, instrumentation

and control systems and the control room. Improvements

had also been recommended by the consultant (HPC AG –

the engineer enterprise) for safety analysis methodologies.

5. Discussion

The projects in support of the Regulatory Authority targeted

the areas considered as highest priority in the accession

process with the aim of enhancing the effectiveness of

the Romanian Nuclear Regulatory Authority and improving

its competence and independent technical assessment capability.

The type of intervention accomplished considered

Operation and New Build

Overview of PHARE Projects Implemented in Romania Between 1997 and 2008 for Enhancing the Nuclear Safety Level ı Radian Sanda, Benoit Zerger, Giustino Manna and Brian Farrar

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