Quintessa, with the support of consortium partners SCK-CEN, Belgatom and the Josef Stefan Institute, has completed a contract under the European Commission's PHARE nuclear safety programme to provide assistance in the development of conceptual design for the LILW repository programme in Slovenia. The programme was under the supervision of Agencija za radioaktivne odpadke (ARAO), the Slovenian Agency for Radioactive Waste Management.
The purpose of the project was to assess the inventory of low and intermediate level radioactive waste in Slovenia taking into account practices in other EU member states for defining Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC), to consider the possible implications of such criteria for the conditioning and packaging of wastes intended for disposal in Slovenia, and to evaluate how the use of alternative approaches may affect the choice of a preferred siting and disposal concept. The work was undertaken in parallel with ARAO's existing programme on repository siting, design and development, and is informing discussions between ARAO and the Slovene regulatory bodies. A key aspect of the project was the transfer of experience in the adoption of Best Available Technology (BAT) in relation to an optimised strategy for LILW management and disposal.
Working with our partners, Quintessa provided justification for suggested modifications to ARAO's proposed preliminary WAC, together with an analysis of the implications of identified WAC for choices to be made regarding the treatment, conditioning, packaging and disposal of LILW. A commentary was also be provided on the possibility of determining (for each disposal concept addressed by ARAO) a least-cost management route for LILW that would satisfy safety requirements for wastes generated up to 2037. Information on inventory and current waste management practices was gathered from ARAO and through working with the staff from the Krïko nuclear power plant and the operators of the research reactor at Brinje.