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Better Together: Regulator and Operator Working Effectively Towards the Safe and Efficient Storage of Radioactive Waste in Serbia

04 May 2016

A team of IAEA experts who reviewed the latest clean-up activities performed under the Vinča Institute Nuclear Decommissioning (VIND) programme at Serbia’s Vinča site confirmed that the on-site works are progressing well. The mission, which involved technical visits to the site and meetings with key stakeholders, noted that the continuing good cooperation between the Public Company Nuclear Facilities of Serbia (PC NFS, the Serbian operator of nuclear facilities), and the national regulator Serbian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Agency (SRPNA), each within their own competences, is key to the smooth implementation of clean-up activities at Vinča.

“We commend the open dialogue and trust between the operator and the regulator”, said Ian Gordon, Head of the Waste Technology Section at the IAEA, at the end of two-day mission on 20 April 2016. “This support is instrumental for the operator and contractor to conduct site operations safely and move effectively towards ensuring the safe and secure storage of solid radioactive waste on the site.”

The focus of current radioactive waste activities includes retrieval, characterization and packing of solid waste stored in old hangars and capacity building for PC NFS workforce. The operator staff will also be fully trained to perform search and secure activities related to disused sealed radioactive sources across the country and potentially in the rest of the Western Balkans.

PC NFS, SRPNA, TECNUBEL and IAEA experts conducting readiness acceptance walk-down of the recently refurbished Waste Processing Facility (WPF), Vinča, Serbia, April 2016


Comprehensive radioactive waste management to ensure that the public and the environment are protected from the effects of ionizing radiation is a high priority for the Serbian Government, which supported the establishment of the VIND programme to deliver radioactive waste processing and decommissioning activities at the Vinča site. The multi-phase VIND programme is planned to complete the clean-up of the main high risk facilities in Serbia by 2018. Following the successful repatriation of spent research reactor fuel to the Russian Federation, the programme is now moving into the clean-up of the radioactive waste inventory at the Vinča site. VIND has been supported by several international donors, and by the European Commission with over € 10 million, in partnership with the IAEA through the IAEA’s technical cooperation programme. TECNUBEL S.A. (ENGIE – former GDF SUEZ group), selected by the IAEA following international tender, is the contractor currently working side-by-side with PC NFS at Vinča.

Dr Miodrag Milosevic, PC NFS, calibrating one of the new Germanium gamma spectrometry systems for the characterization of radioactive waste together with TECNUBEL experts at the WPF, Vinča, Serbia, April 2016. (Photo: B. Radovanović/PC NFS, Serbia)

By Rebecca Robbins, IAEA Department of Nuclear Energy, and Alessia Rodriguez y Baena, IAEA Department of Technical Cooperation


Responsible/Contact: Department of Technical Cooperation | Last update: 05 May, 2016

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