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Safety analysis of the Pűspőkszilágy radioactive waste treatment and disposal facility

Safety analysis of the Pűspőkszilágy radioactive waste treatment and disposal facility


Beneficiary Organisation Details

Public Agency for Radioactive Waste Management (PURAM):

Project Aims

The overall objective of this project was to establish whether the repository site will perform safely in the future or whether remedial actions are necessary to achieve adequate performance. Another objective was to provide input for considerations on potential extension of the repository capacity.

The specific objectives of this project were to:

  • Review the existing data and conceptual models of the site, in particular related to the geology and hydrogeology;
  • Develop recommendations for a programme of site characterization and research;
  • Develop models appropriate for use in a safety assessment;
  • Undertake a comprehensive safety assessment of the site;
  • Evaluate the feasibility of remedial actions, if required, and of other potential refurbishment and development actions;
  • Transfer technology concerning safety assessments to ATOMKI for future use;
  • Provide a review of the safety of the Pűspőkszilágy Radioactive Waste Treatment and Disposal Facility and advice on possible modifications.

The project was designed in such a way that after review and analysis of existing data, the realistic model of repository performance was developed and, based on estimated potential release of radionuclides from the engineered system in groundwater, doses to the exposed groups arising from the groundwater pathway were estimated.

Project Results

The overall objective as well as the specific objectives of the project were achieved.

The main results and conclusions can be summarized as follows:

  • Simplified inventory of disposed radioactive waste, conceptual model and 3-D models of groundwater flow, various scenarios for safety assessment and biosphere model of the site were developed and radiation doses for concerned population groups were calculated within the preparatory step to safety assessment;
  • Natural discharge of radionuclides to soil, use of wells for irrigation of agricultural land, human intrusion and naturally occurring disruptive events were considered as the most probable scenarios for environmental and population impact of the repository;
  • Based on performed analysis it was concluded that continued operation of the facility is unlikely to result in the release of unacceptable activity of radionuclides to the environment;
  • It was also demonstrated that given appropriate management action and some reductions in the uncertainties about repository performance, it is likely that, in the future, a post-closure safety case could be developed for the facility demonstrating compliance with relevant constraints and limits;
  • A set of recommendations was proposed to improve the management of radioactive waste and site safety. They cover a wide spectrum of activities from the management of disused sealed radiation sources, engineered barriers improvement, disposal of additional waste, post-closure administrative control of the site, etc.;
  • Recommendations for future safety assessments were prepared, identifying main inputs and general issues, which should be considered in a future work. Development of waste acceptance criteria for the operation of the facility was identified as the most important practical result of future safety assessment;
  • Additional inputs, unavoidable for future safety assessments and repository post-closure performance evaluation, were identified and directions of main research and investigation activities were proposed. They are covering precision/extension of some inputs as well as investigation of some new problems, which should be analysed and solved in the aim to collect reliable data for future safety assessments.

Further Project Results

a) See attached file and
b) Further information on the project results could be sought from the beneficiary organisations.

General Information

Safety analysis of the Pűspőkszilágy radioactive waste treatment and disposal facility
Budget year: 
Types of activities: 
Waste Management
Pűspőkszilágy Radioactive Waste Facility
Installation types: 
Radioactive Waste
Duration (months): 
IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency)
Institute of Nuclear Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Science (ATOMKI)
Old reference: 
Effective contract date: 
Closure date: