SD NRRAW was officially registered as a SE RAW division on November 1, 2012. The division’s scope of work is related to the construction, commissioning and operation of a repository for long-term storage of low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste.
In order to fully complete the RAW management cycle, the waste has to be buried forever in a permanent repository, which shall guarantee the lasting and reliable insulation of the processed and conditioned RAW from the people and the environment. As a result of governmental decision of 2005, purposive actions were undertaken for realization of this complex process, which shall be completed with the commissioning of SD NRRAW at the end of 2015. In the time line, this process is divided into three major stages: site selection, design and construction. After the performance of regional and detailed geological and geophysical, geochemical, engineering and geological and hydrogeological surveys, a site for construction of the national repository was selected – ‘Radiana’ site.
According to the requirements of the Bulgarian legislation and the International agreements, the SD NRRAW project should have received the approval of the population of the place where it will be realized. The investment proposal of the Enterprise for ‘Construction of a National repository for short-lived low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste’ was presented in details during three public discussions held in 2011 – on March 29 in Kozloduy, on March 30 in Harlets and on July 7 in Beket, Romania.
By a decision of the Council of Ministers the repository, which will be built on ‘Radiana’ site, received a status of a site of national importance and of a national construction project.
The national repository is an installation with multi-barrier protection for long-term storage of waste that has been preliminary processed, safeguarded and packed in reinforced concrete packages. The repository will be at the ground surface, trench type, with capacity of 138 200 m3. The ‘Radiana’ site is located within the 3 km controlled zone of KNPP. The installation will consist of several reinforced concrete embedded constructions (modules), and separated in chambers by internal partition walls. After the chambers are filled with packages, they are covered with a reinforced concrete plate and insulated from the atmospheric waters through a construction of a multi-layer soil fill. The repository is planned to be operational, i.e. to be gradually filled up, in the next 60 years. The repository is foreseen to be removed from service in 2075. Throughout the period of operation and in the following 300 years, the installation will be subject to continuous control by the authorized bodies.