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Nuclear Safety Cooperation

R4.10/95 Improve Safety of Radioactive waste

  • Closed
Benefitting Zone
Eastern Europe / North Asia
€ 2,476,986.56
EU Contribution
Contracted in 1997
Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States


Type of activity

Waste Management



Contracting authority

European Commission

Method of Procurement

(FR2007) Restricted Call for Tender - External Actions


24/03/1997 - 24/04/2000



Project / Budget year


  • WW0002 Interest late pay 2000 / 2000
  • WW9901 Intérêts de retard 1999 / 1999
  • WW9508 Nuclear Safety 1995 / 1995



The project addresses actual safety and environmental needs of the North-West region of Russia. Its purpose was to assist in the development of an underground repository for the safe disposal of all radioactive waste arising in this region. This project is part of a comprehensive TACIS programme, consisting of 4 projects for the radioactive waste management improvement in the North-West region of Russia.

The identification of the programme was preceded by large scoping and preparatory activities carried out mainly by the Mining Institute of the Kola Science Centre, with financial contribution by EC.
The project activities were in accordance with the long-term federal programme for radioactive waste management and disposal. Support of the Government, the Academy of Sciences and the Regional Administrations has been confirmed.


The technical outputs, which are developed in a professional and attractive manner, can be summarized as follows:

A. Identification and evaluation of suitable sites for disposal.

  • Report “Identification of suitable sites”, issued in December 1998;
  • Report “Preliminary safety assessment”, issued in February 2000;
  • Report “Evaluation of suitable sites”, issued in February 2000;
  • Report “Waste acceptance criteria”, issued in February 2000.

Twenty five (25) sites were initially identified for analysis on the basis of Mining Institute investigations and experience.
Using EU experience/know-how and methodology, site assessment criteria were developed and approved.
On the basis of available geo-scientific data and criteria, 7 suitable sites were selected. By deeper analyses, including a preliminary safety assessment and other approved criteria, these sites were evaluated and ranked. The resulting two most promising/preferred sites (one site in each of Murmansk and Archangelsk regions) were proposed to the Steering Committee for further activities, as candidates for the future repository.

B. Conceptual repository design.

  • Report “Conceptual design of regional repository”, issued in December 1999;
  • Report “Conceptual design of the eventually needed surface infrastructure”, issued in March 2000.

This project component is important for the practical realisation of the Russian radioactive waste programme, and gives valuable information to the Russian decision makers for the future repositories.
The synergy of European and Russian experience has ensured the development of the above conceptual design, including technical description, drawings and cost evaluation.

C. Outline of the future programme.

  • Report “Identification of necessary site surveys”, issued in December 1998;
  • Report “Identification of necessary in-site experiments”, issued in December 1998.

This component provides the necessary information for action/activities for the next practical step towards the construction of the repository. The detailed programme identification relies on the wide experience of both the contractor and the Mining Institute. It can also be used for the preparation of following (continuation) TACIS projects.

The integrated time to put into operation the repository has been estimated at about ten years. This includes clarification of

  • Waste issues (in particular updating the waste inventory);
  • Site confirmation;
  • Design and licensing;
  • Construction;
  • And, in parallel, public information.

The above information highlights the need for a timely decision (by Minatom) about the site and the financial approach.