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Safety Assessments for the Radioactive Waste Facilities in Georgia

Within the framework of the EU programme "Instrument of Nuclear Cooperation", a project in the field of radioactive waste management was undertaken for the Saakadze radioactive waste disposal site and the radioactive waste interim Centralised Storage Facility (CSF) in Georgia. A consortium of two companies, TÜV NORD EnSys Hannover GmbH & Co. KG and DBE TECHNOLOGY GmbH, was awarded the contract for the project, which was successfully completed with the recent provision of the final versions of the Safety Assessment Reports to the European Commission.

In the framework of the project, DBE TECHNOLOGY GmbH completed the Safety Assessment of the Saakadze disposal facility near Tbilisi in Georgia, a Radon-type surface facility designed to accommodate up to 600 m3 of low and intermediate level radioactive waste. IAEA recommendations and guidelines were applied for the methodology used in the safety assessment. Taking into consideration the insufficient knowledge about a number of important parameters for the safety calculations, conservative values and model assumptions were selected and sensitivity analyses were performed.

In general, the safety calculations demonstrated that the Saakadze site has very favourable environmental conditions for a surface disposal facility for radioactive waste. Results from the Normal Evolution Scenario and several Altered Evolution Scenarios show only limited dose rates, which are significantly smaller than the regulatory limits. In contrast to these results, the estimated dose rates for the human intrusion scenarios demonstrated values that are at least in part significantly above the limit value of 1 mSv/a. These high dose rates result from the fact that the vaults are currently not backfilled and a properly engineered cover over the vaults has not been constructed. Therefore, the Consortium recommended an appropriately engineered backfill to fill void spaces inside the disposal vaults and to design and construct a suitable cover over the facility. With the implementation of these measures and in conjunction with an effective institutional control over a 300-year monitoring period, it should be possible to expand the disposal capacity at the site by another facility to account for sources and

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