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Disposal of radioactive waste, North-West region

Disposal of radioactive waste, North-West region



The project addresses actual safety and environmental needs of the North-West region of Russia. Its purpose was to assist in the development of an underground repository for the safe disposal of all radioactive waste arising in this region. This project is part of a comprehensive Tacis programme, consisting of 4 projects for the radioactive waste management improvement in the North-West region of Russia.
The identification of the programme was preceded by large scoping and preparatory activities carried out mainly by the Mining Institute of the Kola Science Centre, with financial contribution by EC.
The project activities were in accordance with the long-term federal programme for radioactive waste management and disposal. Support of the Government, the Academy of Sciences and the Regional Administrations has been confirmed.
The technical outputs, which are developed in a professional and attractive manner, can be summarized as follows:
A. Identification and evaluation of suitable sites for disposal.
  • Report “Identification of suitable sites”, issued in December 1998;
  • Report “Preliminary safety assessment”, issued in February 2000;
  • Report “Evaluation of suitable sites”, issued in February 2000;
  • Report “Waste acceptance criteria”, issued in February 2000.
Twenty five (25) sites were initially identified for analysis on the basis of Mining Institute investigations and experience.
Using EU experience/know-how and methodology, site assessment criteria were developed and approved.
On the basis of available geo-scientific data and criteria, 7 suitable sites were selected. By deeper analyses, including a preliminary safety assessment and other approved criteria, these sites were evaluated and ranked. The resulting two most promising/preferred sites (one site in each of Murmansk and Archangelsk regions) were proposed to the Steering Committee for further activities, as candidates for the future repository.
B. Conceptual repository design.
  • Report “Conceptual design of regional repository”, issued in December 1999;
  • Report “Conceptual design of the eventually needed surface infrastructure”, issued in March 2000.
This project component is important for the practical realisation of the Russian radioactive waste programme, and gives valuable information to the Russian decision makers for the future repositories.
The synergy of European and Russian experience has ensured the development of the above conceptual design, including technical description, drawings and cost evaluation.
C. Outline of the future programme.
  • Report “Identification of necessary site surveys”, issued in December 1998;
  • Report “Identification of necessary in-site experiments”, issued in December 1998.
This component provides the necessary information for action/activities for the next practical step towards the construction of the repository. The detailed programme identification relies on the wide experience of both the contractor and the Mining Institute. It can also be used for the preparation of following (continuation) Tacis projects.
The integrated time to put into operation the repository has been estimated at about ten years. This includes clarification of
  • Waste issues (in particular updating the waste inventory);
  • Site confirmation;
  • Design and licensing;
  • Construction;
  • And, in parallel, public information.
The above information highlights the need for a timely decision (by Minatom) about the site and the financial approach.
The project objectives stated in the TOR have been successfully achieved. Also, according to the outcome of the fourth Steering Committee meeting, a significant practical step has been made towards the improvement of the radiological situation in the North-West region of Russia.
The project results should be considered as a valuable contribution and a precondition for the construction of an underground repository for the safe disposal of the radioactive waste, arising in the North-West Region of Russia.
In addition, the project resulted in some additional achievements. Even though not originally stated in the TOR, they have made the objectives more real and effective.
The most important achievements are:
  • Many organizations and institutes at regional and federal levels were jointly involved into discussions and activities, aiming at improving the radioactive waste management in the region. The exchange of information, open discussions and co-operative attitude are expected to positively contribute to optimum and shared decisions and solutions;
  • The public opinion regarding the construction of the repository in the region has been promoted and has been continuously improving;
  • Know-how and experience gathered by the Russian parties can be used also for site assessment and repository construction in other regions of Russia (e.g. Far East and Urals).

General Information

Disposal of radioactive waste, North-West region
€ 2.476.986,56
Budget year: 
Meta geographical zone: 
North West Russia
Types of activities: 
Waste Management
WDS - Waste, Decommissioning and Safeguards
Duration (months): 
Contracting authority: 
European Commission
SGN (Societe generale pour les techniques nouvelles)
CRIS number: 
Old reference: 
Project reference: 
Decision number: 
Method of procurement: 
Restricted Call for Tender
Signature date: 
Effective contract date: 
Contract end date: 
Closure date: