Waste Technology Section

CRP 23015, Upgrading of near surface disposal facilities

Background information

Many of the existing disposal facilities for low and intermediate level radioactive waste were developed and began operation long before current regulatory standards took effect and IAEA requirements and guidance, safety assessment methodologies and recommendations for quality management systems became available. The new developments in addressing safety issues of disposal facilities, both operational and long-term, have called for corrective actions at those which for some reason have not complied with the current standards.

The term corrective action, comprises all activities and measures undertaken to:

  • Achieve compliance with updated regulatory requirements;
  • Rectify an existing unsafe condition;
  • Prevent an unsafe condition from occurring in the future;
  • Respond to societal demands.

The purpose of this CRP is to identify and resume the reasons for initiating corrective actions at near surface disposal facilities, to generalize decision processes, to assess corrective approaches and principles applied, and to share information on implementation of specific procedures selected to reach effectively the required level of radiation safety of a facility.

The objective of this CRP is to summarize principles, decision schemes, technical approaches and specific procedures applied for upgrading of near surface disposal facilities in Member States.

The specific objectives of the CRP are aimed at informing Member States about:

  • Identifying needs for a potential corrective action;
  • Assessing options and selecting appropriate corrective actions and describing relevant decision schemes;
  • Planning those corrective actions;
  • Developing and adopting procedures and techniques involved in carrying out the corrective actions;
  • Characterization of legacy waste and their conditioning to address the waste acceptance requirements;
  • Implementing corrective actions;
  • Evaluating effectiveness of the upgrading procedure, preferably for enhancing repository performance and reaching a higher level of safety, both operational and post-operational (long-term).

It is anticipated that the results of this CRP will be useful to scientists, engineers, managers and others involved in assessing and improving the performance of existing near surface disposal facilities; the lessons learned from the application and evaluation of corrective actions may also be relevant in the development of new ones.

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