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Nuclear Safety Cooperation

R4.04/04 - Strategy Definition for Russian Federation NPP Back End Radioactive Waste Management, Including Draft Legislation & Institutional Framework (ref AP

  • Closed
Benefitting Zone
Eastern Europe / North Asia
€ 895,751.58
EU Contribution
Contracted in 2005
Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States


Type of activity

Waste Management



Contracting authority

European Commission

Method of Procurement

Direct Agreement & AV DA


01/01/2006 - 01/07/2007



Project / Budget year

TACIS 2004 - Nuclear Safety Action Programme / 2004


In the commonly applied three levels system of the national legal documents covering all aspects of spent fuel and radioactive waste management (national policy, national strategy and rules and guidelines as implementation documents), drafting of the National spent fuel and waste management strategy is the most complicated. Strategy is supported by a set of legal documents, identifying all organizational, technical, technological, financial and other aspects of the spent fuel and radioactive waste management. In the strategy, specific conditions and situation in each individual country should be fully considered and reflected. Integrated approach, i.e. definition or a realistic vision of all steps of spent fuel and radioactive waste management from their generation through safe and sound processing till to the final disposal, is one of the main required features of the strategy. Basic principles of radioactive waste minimization, waste characterization and classification, records keeping, waste processing technologies, storage and disposal, selected safety and regulatory issues (in particular waste acceptance criteria for storage and disposal), quality assurance and quality control and any other relevant issues should be covered in corresponding documents.

At the time of project implementation, the situation in Russian Federation did not correspond to the international practice. In spite of availability of highly developed nuclear industry, complete fuel cycle facilities and extensive utilization of nuclear energy, the national spent fuel and radioactive waste management policy as well as waste management strategy were still missing.

The Authorities of the Russian Federation as well as the company operating the main nuclear facilities in Russia, both committed to the development of spent fuel and radioactive waste management strategy, have decided to use support of EC in transfer of the best experience and knowledge from EU countries to prepare in a join effort the National spent fuel and radioactive waste management strategy, including draft legislation and institutional framework.

The project started in December 2005 and completed in June 2007 consists of two parts:

Part 1: Development of the Russian Federation overall waste management strategy, draft legislation and institutional framework;

Part 2: Development of the Russian Federation NPP back end waste management strategy.


The overall project objective was to contribute to safe, sound and economically efficient management of radioactive waste generated at Russian Federation NPPs and other nuclear installations, as well as from decommissioning of them and increase in this way the protection of environment and population from potential burdens caused by the utilization of the nuclear energy.

The specific objective of this project was to assist the Russian Federation in the development of a National strategy and the programme for the implementation of this strategy for managing radioactive waste with special emphasis on the back-end long term storage and disposal. The development of the strategy shall be based on national and international experience and the best European practices.


Project results are documented in twelve reports, each covering one of the tasks and in final wrap up report, where basic briefing is provided on the project achievements. The reports are grouped to two sets, each of them covering one of the above mentioned project parts addressed to different beneficiaries.

(Beneficiary: Federal Agency for Atomic Energy - Rosatom)

This part of the project was devoted to legislation matters, waste management organization and funding of waste management activities. Proposed solution is based on the relevant provisions of the “Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management” and the IAEA Safety Fundamentals. The results are presented in four reports:

1. Current situation of the legal matters and available institutional framework in the radioactive waste management area in RF

Provides the results of detailed analysis of present situation in the waste management field in Russian Federation and is used as a basis for decision making in the course of further project implementation. Furthermore a representative and sufficiently detailed overview on radioactive waste management systems in selected Western European countries was compiled to be used in the future work on the project.

2. Legislation

The report is devoted to the preparation of the first draft of new radioactive waste management legislation. Considering the specific importance of appropriately addressing the management of legacy waste that will arise from decommissioning the obsolete nuclear facilities, which form a major part of the nuclear legacy in the Russian Federation, the subject of the new legislation was extended to cover also the decommissioning of obsolete nuclear facilities. Thus, the concept and technical-economic justification for a Federal Law on radioactive waste management and decommissioning of obsolete nuclear facilities has been drafted as the main core of the proposed new legislation. The document defines the basic principles and responsibilities for radioactive waste management and decommissioning in the Russian Federation. It also includes basic provisions for establishing of the National Waste Management Organisation (WMO).

3. Waste management organisation (WMO),

Basic principles for establishing a National Waste Management Organisation and a corresponding preliminary business plan for its implementation and the first phase of operation were developed.

The basic principles for establishing WMO shall be laid down in the draft federal law on radioactive waste management and decommissioning of obsolete nuclear facilities. Following aspects should be addressed:

  • Type of organisation
  • Subordination, supervision and/or ownership of the WMO
  • Scope of responsibility, interactions with other players in the waste management and radiation safety system
  • Sources of funding

The preliminary business plan should cover, in particular:

  • Programmatic plan for establishing and developing the WMO
  • Description of the internal structure and relevant human resources requirements
  • Establishing of the supervising body, its duties and rights in relation to the WMO

4. Financing (funding) of radioactive waste management activities

Financing (funding) of radioactive waste management activities should be based on the commonly accepted “waste producer pays” principle. A set of clauses has been drafted regarding the funding of waste management services arranged and performed by WMO and the funding of waste management activities in connection with nuclear legacies.

Following relevant issues are discussed in sufficient detail:

  • Identification of sources of funding (waste producers’ payments, public budgets, sponsors and contributions from profitable business of WMO)
  • Rules (model) to define the contribution of each obliged contributor
  • Selection of responsible body for collecting, accumulating and management (investing) of accumulated funds
  • Rules for spending of accumulated funds and for justification of funding requirements
  • Supervision of contribution regime and regular spending of accumulated funds


This part of the project is devoted to development of technological aspects of radioactive waste management strategy. It deals with the main directions for the improvement and further development of radioactive waste management in the Russian Federation and represents the technical core of the project. The structure and sequence of this documents' set corresponds to individual parts of waste management life cycle. Integrated approach was assured through consideration of the end steps of the WM life cycle – long term storage and/or final disposal. The results are presented in eight reports

5. Analysis of current waste management strategy and approach at Russian Federation NPPs.

The report provides the results of detailed analysis and evaluation of situation in the NPPs waste management field in order to assure a sound basis for further project work. Furthermore, the radioactive waste management practices at the western European NPPs are listed to use them for comparison and selection an optimum solution of Russian Federation.

6. Waste generation and minimisation

Analysis of present waste minimization practice and organisational and technical recommendations for minimization of as generated as well as processed (for disposal) volume of all kinds of radioactive waste is presented.

7. Waste classification and characterisation

Report is targeted on the analysis of existing waste classification system in Russian Federation and proposal of its improvement in order to reduce the volume of radioactive waste to be processed and stored at the NPPs. Therefore one of the subjects is analysis of clearance approach and its potential implementation in RAW management. Another very important issue is to propose proper system for characterization of the waste during processing cycle to provide for straightforward and non problematic acceptance of conditioned waste packages for long term storage and/or disposal.
Draft recommendations for improvement of the current Russian Federation radioactive waste classification were developed based on an approach aligned to the disposal options for the different waste classes.

8. Waste processing technologies

Based on the analysis of current and planned waste processing technologies at Russian Federation NPPs and good operational practice at western European NPPs in this field it has been recommended to implement uniform waste conditioning processes for the majority of NPPs waste arisings. Considering the wast characteristic to be processed, available and planned technologies, specific climatic conditions at the NPPs, availability of solidification matrix material and some other aspects, encapsulation of the waste into cement matrix in combination with utilization of big volume reinforced concrete containers (already licensed) has been found as the most profitable option. Using of standardised waste packages at the NPPs was highlighted. It would allow to develop common requirements for waste packages in order to comply with waste disposal requirements (in particular waste acceptance criteria - WAC), which should be established soon in Russia. Temporary – till decision on final disposal option and establishing of authorised WAC – the waste package specifications should be developed and applied in everyday waste management practice.

9. Waste storage. Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC)

Since no decision is available in Russian Federation on the final repository of conditioned radioactive waste, generic waste package specifications (preliminary Waste Acceptance Criteria) were proposed in the report, based on experience and approach used in western European countries. Proposed specifications take into account the current approach of Rosenergoatom to waste conditioning and packaging and address the following issues in sufficient detail:

  • Identification of criteria for waste package acceptability
  • Waste container requirements
  • Waste package requirements
  • Waste form requirements (properties and characteristics)
  • Administrative and expected regulatory requirement

Proposed generic specifications have been confronted with actually used waste packages specification in Russian Federation.

10. Strategic aspects of decommissioning waste management

This report is closely related by subject and by coverage to the report on Waste generation and minimisation. It dealt mainly with the evaluation of expected types and volume of decommissioning waste and schedule of its generation in the context of the decommissioning options and decommissioning plan. For more precised decommissioning planning besides the basic principles of NPPs decommissioning also the specific conditions of Russian Federation such as economic and social factors, the absence of disposal facilities and some others, have to be considered. Therefore a preliminary evaluation of anticipated waste amounts was based on justified assumptions, particularly related to waste processing and packaging.

11 Final disposal options

Near surface disposal of short lived low and intermediate level waste (SL-LILW) in set of regional repositories is considered as a basic solution for vast portion of NPP operational waste. Separate disposal of very low level waste is also considered in the report. Disposal of long lived and high level waste (HLW) waste categories is considered in deep geological formations. It has been demonstrated that the real progress can be achieved after establishing of the national Waste Management Organization, which, besides others, should develop a relevant waste disposal strategy. The main tasks of this organisation, related to waste disposal, are indicated in the report.

12 Legal and regulatory matters

The report is focused on the role and responsibilities of regulatory authorities ion the matters concerning NPP waste management. Suggestions for improvement of the regulatory basis in various aspects of radioactive waste management were drafted.


Valuable set of recommendations is presented at the end of each report and then at the end of wrap up report. They are aimed in facilitation of soon and efficient implementation of proposed strategy and its parts.