Aug 7, 2013
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in collaboration with the Government of Hungary through the Paks Nuclear Power Plant Co., Ltd., organized a regional event entitled Workshop on benchmarking of generation, processing and disposal of low and intermediate level operational waste from NPP's” from 15-19 July 2013 under the regional technical cooperation project RER/9/107 “Strengthening Radioactive Waste Management Capabilities.”
The purpose of the workshop was to improve safe management of Low and Intermediate Level (L&IL) waste from the WWER type of NPPs. During the five day workshop experts from Armenia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Russian Federation, Slovakia and Ukraine considered the existing practices on liquid and solid waste collection, segregation, processing, storage and disposal within the framework of the International WWER Radioactive Waste Operations Benchmarking System. The system is used to collect, analyse, and report on waste management information from WWER-type nuclear power plant sites and enables member organisations to share their data and to determine how they rank amongst all participants in terms of commonly agreed and accepted waste management parameters.
The workshop included presentations by participants focused on the most important parameters for benchmarking appropriate for waste minimization and to improve safety and efficiency of radioactive waste management at NPP’s. The participants discussed operational capabilities of the existing International WWER Radioactive Waste Operations Benchmarking System (see http://nucleus.iaea.org/CIR/CIR/WWER.html), developed under the project RER/3/007. Further actions to make the database operational and improve its capabilities were agreed. These include IT issues such as database interface and processing improvements and preparation for a dedicated publication (TECDOC) to provide end-users in Member States with the necessary knowledge and information to understand and effectively use the International WWER Radioactive Waste Operations Benchmarking System.
The participants actively discussed the sections of the future TECDOC which should identify and define the benchmarking parameters selected for WWER type reactors, including why those parameters were selected and their intended benchmarking benefits, namely to provide justification to the WWER NPP owners for implementation of the best practices for waste management. It was agreed that the TECDOC should discuss the IAEA’s WWER benchmarking database, specifically its user interface.
The International WWER Radioactive Waste Operations Benchmarking System is an important tool aiming to establish industry-wide standards and guidelines for waste minimization, including source reduction, reuse, and volume reduction. In addition, benchmarking among NPPs promotes inter-plant communication and cooperation, thereby transferring good practices for waste minimization and enhanced waste safety measures related to waste generation, handling, storage, transport and disposal.