On 9th of June 2016, State Enterprise Radioactive Waste (SERAW) held a public hearing session regarding the design for a National Disposal Facility for low- and intermediate level radioactive waste (NDF) in the town of Craiova. The forum was organized by invitation of the Ministry of Environment, Waters and Forests of Romania (MEWF) and coordinated with the Bulgarian Ministry of Environment and Waters (MEW) that officially represented our country. The public hearing was carried out under intense public interest.
The Enterprise’s investment proposal was presented by the project manager – Mrs. Ira Stefanova. The results from the project’s environmental assessment were set out by Mrs. Stela Ivanova and experts from the team that prepared the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR). The Bulgarian delegation consisted of MEW representatives, KNPP experts, scientists from the Bulgarian Academy of Science and other specialists. Hosts of the meeting were Lia Olguța Vasilescu – mayor of Municipality Craiova, Gabriela Osiceanu – head of the Office for Environmental Impact Assessment in the MEWF, Elena Simion – Director of Directorate National Reference Laboratories within the National Environment Agency and Monika Mateescu – executive director and Environment Agency – Dolj district.
Nearly 120 residents of Craiova, representatives of Romanian and Bulgarian NGOs actively participated in the project’s discussion, which lasted almost eight hours. Romanian citizens expressed their concern about the safety of the repository. Their questions were answered by the SERAW experts and independent specialists and all of whom will receive a written response from the Enterprise. All opinions, comments and suggestions received from the Romanian side will be reviewed by SERAW during the implementation of the NDF project.
In Bulgaria, the public hearing meetings regarding the investment proposal were held in 2015 and covered 11 settlements – Municipality of Kozloduy and village of Harletz on which territory the Radiana Site is located as well as the Municipalities of Mizia, Valchedram, Hayredin, Oryahovo, Borovan, Lom, Krivodol, Boychinovci and Byala Slatina.
The National Disposal Facility is a site with national importance and its project is part of the updated National Strategy for Management of Spent Nuclear Fuel and Radioactive Waste until 2030, approved by the Council of Ministers on 5th of January 2011 and it is a commitment of the Bulgarian government to the European Commission. By constructing the NDF, Bulgaria will be among the countries, which operate repositories for low- and intermediate level short-lived radioactive waste, and will reach the parameters of the International Atomic Energy Agency for sustainable management of this type of waste. The SERAW’s project to construct the NDF is being funded by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development through the Kozloduy International Decommissioning Support Fund.
The NDF on Radiana Site is an installation with multi-barrier protection for long-term storage of low- and intermediate level radioactive 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 installation will consist of several reinforced concrete embedded constructions (modules) 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. Throughout the operation of the NDF, the incoming radioactive waste will be strictly inspected and the repository’s site and the environment will be subject to radiation control and monitoring. The NDF will be the newest and the most modern facility of such type in Europe and its environmental parameters will compete with the similar repository built in Sierra de Hornachuelos Nature Reserve in Spain.