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Ecology of Radioactive Waste Storage Sites of “Radon”

#3975


Assessment of Radiation Impacts of the Radioactive Waste Storage Sites of Specialized Enterprises "Radon" within 50 km Monitoring Zones

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-RED/Remediation and Decontamination/Environment
  • ENV-WPC/Water Pollution and Control/Environment
  • OBS-NAT/Natural Resources and Earth Sciences/Other Basic Sciences

Status
3 Approved without Funding

Registration date
19.05.2009

Leading Institute
Scientific & Production Association “Typhoon”, Russia, Kaluga reg., Obninsk

Supporting institutes

  • Kurchatov Research Center, Russia, Moscow

Collaborators

  • Stoller Ingenieurtechnik GmbH, Germany, Dresden\nUniversidad Politecnica de Madrid / Departamento de Ingenieria Nuclear, Spain, Madrid

Project summary

Project objective

The project aims at delivering summarized data and computer modules for decision making support with a view to ensuring radiation safety of the public and estimating radiation impacts of the radioactive waste storage sites (RWSS) of specialized enterprises “Radon” within 50 km monitoring zones.

State of the art

The need for assessing the radiation impacts of the «Radon» radioactive waste storage sites is associated with the fact that there is a system of specialized enterprises «Radon» operating in Russia to deal with transportation and disposal of low and medium level radioactive waste. The specialized enterprises «Radon» are engaged in processing and conditioning of radioactive waste and as a result of these operations some amounts of radionuclides may escape into the environment. The radioactive waste storage facilities, some of which were built more than 40 years ago, can become sources of radionuclide leakage to the environment. Part of the «Radon» facilities have obsolete outfit and emergencies may occur involving increased releases of radionuclides to the environment. All this demonstrates the relevance of the proposed project.

Impact of the project on the progress in the area of interest

The project is important for developing a methodology of radiation risk analysis, as well as implementing specific practical tasks of methodological, information and analytical support to decision making related to ensuring radiation safety of the public in the areas around the specialized enterprises “Radon”.

Competence of project participants

The project will be implemented by scientists and specialists of the SI RPA “Typhoon” of Roshydromet in conjunction with specialists from the Kurchatov Institute

The head organization under the project is SPA “Typhoon” of Roshydromet, the lead organization in Russia in environmental radiation monitoring, development of radioecological models and information-analytical support to decision making in the field of environmental radiation safety. The specialists and scientists of this organization were involved in the studies of impacts of nuclear weapons testing on the environment, took part in the analysis of radiological and ecological safety of radioactive waste storage sites, investigated radioecological consequences of the radiation accidents at the Mayak plant and Chernobyl, radioactive discharges to the Techa and Yenisey, performed development and validation of eco-geographical models of radionuclides transport in environmental components and estimating radiation risk, have been involved in numerous international projects such as the projects of the ISTC (85, 1404, 1404, 2558,3003, 3547), IAEA (VAMP, BIOMOVS, BIOMAS, EMRAS) and CEC (ARCTCMAR, EPIC).

RRC “Kurchatov Institute” is the principal organization in Russia in fundamental and applied studies of atomic energy use. Its scientists and specialists were engaged in the studies of damaging effects of nuclear weapons, took active part in the investigations of the Chernobyl accident consequences, developed models and computer modules assessing radiation risk and have ample experience in international projects such as ISTC (2558, 3547) and TACIS, as well as collaboration with USA on safety of nuclear reactors

The role of foreign collaborators

Foreign collaborators will be involved in discussion of the program for collecting information required to assess the radiation situation around the “Radon” radwaste storage sites, take part in information exchange and analysis, analysis of modeling results and radiation risk estimates, cross validation of model estimates in the course of the project. The project participants expect the assistance and support of foreign collaborators to be beneficial and contribute to successful implementation of the project.

Expected results and their application

Implementation of the project is expected to yield the following results:

  • Data about geographical, climatic and hydrological characteristics of «Radon» waste storage sites in different regions of Russia will be compiled.
  • Data about sources releasing radionuclides to different components of the environment from the radwaste storage sites will be collected.
  • Data will be analyzed and aggregated pertaining to the current contamination levels in different environmental media within 50 km zones around «Radon» enterprises and from other regional sources (natural sources, global fallout, radiation impacts from medical procedures).
  • Computer modules will be developed and modeling estimates and predictions performed for environmental transport of radionuclides from the «Radon» waste storage sites.
  • Tools for estimating risks (methods and computer modules) will be developed to estimate the radiation risk from the «Radon» radioactive waste storage sites and other natural and man-made sources of radiation impacts for the public, with allowance for multiple exposure pathways.
  • Materials containing estimates of radiation effects of the «Radon» radioactive waste storage sites and other radiation sources within 50 km zones on the public will be obtained, processed and submitted to ISTC.
  • Final technical report on the project will be submitted to the ISTC.

The project results are planned to be used for information-analytical and methodological support to decision making related to environmental radiation safety of the public in the areas of Radon radioactive waste storage sites. The thrust of the proposed project is in line with the ISTC objectives to support fundamental and applied studies, especially those related with environmental protection. Collaborative work under the project with scientists from Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and other countries will contribute to strengthening the links between groups of scientists from Russia and international community.

Scope of activities

To achieve the project goals a series of activities are planned including compilation of data about geographical, climatic and hydrometeorological characteristics of the areas around the “Radon” waste storage sites in different regions of Russia; analysis of the sources releasing radionuclides to environmental components; modeling and prediction of environmental migration of radionuclides from the “Radon” radioactive waste storage sites; aggregation of data on the current environmental contamination levels in the 50 km zones; estimation of radiation risk for the public with consideration of multiple radiation exposure pathways.

Technical approaches and methodology

The proposed project will be implemented using the methodology for estimating radiation risk which includes identification of risk sources, analysis of radiation monitoring data and data about environmental transport of radionuclides, gathering and aggregation of information about environmental parameters in the areas of “Radon” storage sites, modeling of radionuclides transport in the environmental components and agroecosystems, estimation of doses and radiation risks for the public, categorization of derived risk estimates and development of recommendations for decision making and risk management.

The models to be used include models of radionuclides transport in the air, surface waters, soil, agricultural and natural trophic chains, as well as models for estimating doses and radiation risk with allowance for multiple exposure pathways for the public. Algorithms and computer blocks for developing radionuclides transport in the environment and estimating radiation risk will be developed.


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