The Permanent Repository for Radioactive Waste – with half a century anniversary


17 December 2014 was the date of the official celebration of the 50th Anniversary since the commissioning of the first repository for radioactive waste (RAW) in Bulgaria. The permanent repository near the village of Novi Han was officially established in the autumn of 1964. Its purpose was the safe management of RAW generated from the implementation of ionizing radiation sources in the science, medicine, industry and the agriculture. For more than 40 years, the facility was operated by the Bulgarian Academy of Science, and since 2006 it became part of the structure of State Enterprise Radioactive Waste (SERAW) and today it is operating as a Specialised Division of the company.
The Anniversary celebration gathered many guests, among whom there were representatives of various institutions – the Line Ministry of the Energy, Bulgarian Nuclear Regulatory Agency, National Centre of Radiology and Radiation Protection, Bulgarian Academy of Science, Institute for Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy, Institute of Metal Science, Equipment and Technologies and the Sofia University. Representatives of the local authorities – mayors of the villages of Novi Han and Gabra – also joined the celebration. Many veterans – longtime repository employees were invited as guests of honor.
“I am very honored to offer my congratulations on the occasion of the remarkable 50th anniversary of the Novi Han repository”, so said the executive director of SERAW – Dilyan Petrov in his address. There is some very symbolic in the fact that in 2014 we celebrate two anniversaries – 50 years Permanent Repository in Novi Han and 10 years since the establishment of SERAW. These are markers that draw a long path marked of experience and succession, emphasised Mr. Petrov.
As part of the event programme, the participants made a long tour of the facility accompanied by the chief engineer of the specialised division – Avgustin Naydenov, and were familiarised in detail with the various RAW processing equipment and servicing laboratories. The guests said that they are very impressed by the changes made in terms of the provision of resources for the RAW management activities, as well as by the significant improvements on the infrastructure of the repository and the upgrades performed throughout the last years.
Additional events of the celebrations were the Doors Open Day in the Novi Han Repository and the official presentation of the SERAW calendar for 2015, a symbolic host of which was the first Bulgarian RAW repository.