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Completion of the first phase of the European Commission’s project on reconstructing the radioactive waste disposal facility at Buryakovka, Ukraine

Aerial view of the Buryakovka repository (Ukraine)

For several years, one of the main focuses of DBE TECHNOLOGY GmbH’s international activities has been the participation in radioactive waste management projects in Ukraine. As a result of a Europe-wide tender, a consortium consisting of DBE TECHNOLOGY GmbH and ANDRA (France) was awarded the contract for the first phase of the project “Improvement of the infrastructure for radioactive waste management in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone”.
The project focused on an extension and upgrading of the surface radioactive waste disposal facility Buryakovka. It was constructed in 1987, immediately after the Chernobyl accident, and is located only a few kilometres away from the nuclear reactor. At present, it is operated in almost the same way as when it was constructed. It accepts low and intermediate-level waste, particularly contaminated soil and waste from demolition work. By now, its capacity of approx. 700.000 m³ has almost been exhausted and is to be expanded by 120.000 m³.

The main focus of DBE TECHNOLOGY GmbH’s activities included the performance of safety analyses and assessments for the present repository and for its upgraded state. In this context, an appropriate methodology has been developed and agreed by the national Nuclear Supervising Authority that deals with radiological safety as well as with the special feature of a repository as part of one of the most extensive intervention programs in an exclusion zone. As a result it could be demonstrated that the protection goals will be met for both cases.
In the course of the second phase, the repository will be reconstructed and upgraded. In doing so, recommendations for improving the repository safety based on aspects identified in safety assessment will be considered.
The close and excellent cooperation with the Ukrainian authority for Administration of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, the repository operator KOMPLEX and the national Nuclear Supervising Authority was a prerequisite for the successful completion of the project.

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