The RAW Plasma Melting Facility – presented at IAEA General Conference


In the period 25-29 September 2023, the 67th General Conference of the organisation took place at the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna. During the most important forum of the IAEA, a joint stand of the European Commission, Spain and Bulgaria was organized, in the official opening of which took part: Rafael Grossi, IAEA Director-General; Massimo Garribba, Deputy Director-General of the European Commission’s Energy Directorate-General; Nikolay Nikolov, Deputy Minister of Energy of Bulgaria, and HM Esther Monterrubio Villar, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Spain to Austria.
The focus of the Bulgarian presentation in Vienna was on one of the most significant projects implemented through the support of the Kozloduy International Decommissioning Support Fund (KIDSF) – Construction of a Facility for Treatment and Conditioning of Solid Radioactive Waste capable of achieving a High-Volume Reduction Factor. The Plasma Melting Facility is a state-of-the-art technology, and through its capabilities for feeding different combinations of RAW, a high-volume reduction factor is achieved, which is difficult to achieve with other technologies. This ensures compliance with all RAW management principles and above all – disposal of minimal quantities and not burdening the future generations with the care of RAW generated in our time. The project implementation is the result of a joint work of an international consortium. The facility was built for the benefit of the safe decommissioning of the shutdown Units 1 to 4 of the Kozloduy NPP, which State Enterprise Radioactive Waste (SERAW) is in charge of.
The participants in the forum showed significant professional interest in the presented technology, thus shared Bulgarian representatives at the conference. This fact highlights the importance of another parallel project: in 2022, in cooperation with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), a “Knowledge Management in the Field of Decommissioning and Radioactive Waste Management” project was implemented, within the scope of which the experience gained from the operation of the Plasma Melting Facility was presented by SERAW as a Knowledge Product.