Abstract

Novi Han Repository is the only existing repository in Bulgaria for the disposal of radioactive waste from nuclear applications in industry, medicine and research. The repository was constructed in the early sixties according to the existing requirements. It was operated by the Institute for Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy for more than thirty years without any accident or release of radioactivity to the environment, but without any investment for upgrading. As a consequence, the Bulgarian Nuclear Safety Authority temporarily stopped the operation of the repository in 1994. The measures for upgrading Novi Han Repository, supported by the IAEA with TC Project BUL/4/005 “Increasing Safety of Novi Han Repository”, are presented in this paper. They consist of: assessment of radionuclide inventory and future waste arisings, characterization of disposal vaults, characterization of the site, safety assessment, upgrading of the monitoring system, option study for the selection of treatment and conditioning processes and the development of a conceptual design for low and intermediate level waste processing and storage facility, immediate measures for improvement of the existing disposal vaults and infrastructure, and construction of above-ground temporary storage structures. The outstanding activities for re-opening of the Novi Han Repository and implementation of the measures for reconstruction of the Novi Han Repository are discussed.

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