Plan, secure and minimize!
While nuclear energy has a large set of benefits, it also has its costs. One of them is radioactive waste management. Radioactive waste arises from:
- NPP operation for power generation,
- the processes for producing nuclear fuel and its reprocessing;
- nuclear facilities decomissioning,
- the use of radioisotopes in medicine, research and industry, and etc.
At the early stages of the national nuclear power program development the State must consider the alternatives for the management of radioactive waste. The main reason for that is the radiological hazards associated with it. The impact of the radioactive waste produced by the nuclear power generation extends far beyond the operational period of the nuclear power plant itself. The spent fuel and radioactive waste must be cared for and made safe both while the nuclear facility is in operation and after its closure.
Planning for safe and secure management of radioactive waste in the earliest stages of setting up a NPP is the best way to ensure avoidance of problems.
Thus, the Government should bear in mind that SNF and radioactive waste management is a long-term commitment.
Thus, when initiating a Nuclear Power Program, among other issues the State must consider:
- NPP technical specifications including waste processing facilities and storage for spent fuel and operational waste.
- Incorporating goals and aims regarding SNF management into national policy and amending legislative system.
- Ensurering safe, technically optimal and cost effective management development by assigning key responsibilities in the country for radioactive waste management and allocating appropriate funds.
- Developing a National Strategy specifying the arrangement for management for each of waste streams created by the NPP, including the required facilities for waste processing, storage and disposal.
Important prerequisite of safe radioactive waste management is its commitment to achievement of an acceptable level of protection of people, environment against adverse effects of radioactive waste.