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Nuclear Safety Cooperation

G4.01.09: Support to the operators in the preparation of Safety Assessment Reports for Georgian radwaste disposal and interim storage sites.

Benefitting Zone
Eastern Europe
€ 441,870.00
EU Contribution
Contracted in 2013
Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation


Type of activity

Waste Management



Contracting authority

European Commission

Method of Procurement

(FR2007) Restricted Call for Tender - External Actions


12/07/2013 - 11/05/2015



Project / Budget year

Nuclear Safety Operations - Action Programme 2009 - Georgia / 2009


The overall objective of the project was to contribute to improvement of radioactive waste (radwaste) management in Georgia.
The specific objectives of the project have been to perform safety assessment of the Centralised Storage Facility (CSF) and the “Saakadze” radwaste disposal site.
The Centralised/Interim Storage Facility (CSF) is located in the Applied Research Centre (former IRT-M reactor site) of the E. Andronikashvili Institute of Physics (IoP). IoP manages and operates the facility. The CSF stores the radwaste originated from the decommissioning of IRT-M reactor as well as disused sealed radioactive sources (DSRS). The CSF is a two-floor building (one above ground, one underground) with eight modules. The facility can accept only solid or solidified radwaste.
The near surface disposal site “Saakadze” is located about 40 km from Tbilisi. The facility owner is the Government of Georgia. The site is out of service since 1995. It contains both solid and liquid radwaste generated in Georgia since 1963.


The project contractor was a consortium of TÜV Nord and DBE Technology GmbH.
The Terms of Reference required implementing the project work in five tasks.
The Task 1 was the general project management.
In the Task 2, the contractor prepared a Final Safety Analysis Report (FSAR) of the Centralized Storage Facility. The FSAR has provided a description of the CSF and parameters relevant for the safety assessment, including the local population distribution, the meteorology, (hydro) geology, the area seismicity and background radiation levels.
The FSAR has also described the technical characteristics of the CSF including its layout and inventory contents for each of the CSF modules. Structural damages of the buildings were noted.
The FSAR concluded that in normal operation conditions, radiation doses were well within the limits established for both workers and members of the public. However, high doses could be achieved in accident conditions. To prevent initiating events of such accidents, the FSAR has recommended a number of measures. CSF was not expected to suffer any extreme natural events that might result in a major radiological event.
In the Task 3, the contractor assessed safety conditions of the Saakadze disposal site and their impact on the environment and public.
For the normal evolution of the facility, the estimated dose rate was approximately 2-3 orders of magnitude below the limiting value of 0.1 mSv/a. For human intrusion scenarios including radwaste thefts, however, the estimated dose rates could significantly exceed the limiting value. It was mostly because the storage vaults were improperly covered and vault voids not backfilled.
The geological and environmental conditions of the Saakadze site were favourable for a surface disposal facility.
The contractor also roughly assessed an impact of a possible future disposal of other low- an intermediate-level waste, like DSRS, on the "Saakadze" site. A borehole disposal was considered the most appropriate option, whereas one or two boreholes should be sufficient to dispose all disused radioactive sources in Georgia.
In the Task 4, the contractor summarized and completed recommendations resulting from the safety assessments of the CSF and Saakadze disposal site.
For the CSF, the recommendations included repairing walls and roof, installing lightning protection and failure alarms, improving the storage racks, fire protection, access barriers, etc. The contractor also recommended a specific training and procedure improvements.
For the Saakadze facility, the contractor recommended constructing a site cover, backfilling voids in the vaults, treating the onsite liquid waste and establishing a regular site-monitoring programme.
In the Task 5, the contractor elaborated the project Final Report and organized a final meeting to summarize results of the project.


The final safety assessment report (FSAR) for the CSF showed no immediate radiological risk. Nevertheless, several recommendations for the facility improvements were given together with recommendations for additional documents and training of the facility operators.
For the Saakadze site, the safety assessment revealed no immediate radiological safety hazards either. However, significant improvements were suggested to guarantee long-term safety and stability of the site.