Management of Institutional RW and Disused Sources

Institutional radioactive waste (IRW) and disused sources (DS) are the products of application of radioactive materials and ionising radiation sources in medicine, industry, science and the military. Croatia generates a relatively low amount of IRW and DS. Based on its specific activity, all IRW in Croatia is classified as low and intermediate level radioactive waste (LILW). Croatia does not generate high level radioactive waste.

The half-life of short-lived LILW is up to 30 years and its α-emitter concentrations go up to 4,000 Bq/g per package. Long-lived LILW has a half-life above 30 years and α-emitters in concentrations over 4,000 Bq/g per package.

IRW and DS are currently stored in remediated, closed interim storages at the Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health (IMR) and the Ruđer Bošković Institute (RBI). In 2006, the storage at the IMR was remediated with IAEA assistance and under the supervision of at the time the State Office for Radiation Protection. Remediation included the characterisation, sorting and conditioning of existing inventory. The RBI storage facility was sealed by the Office in 2015 due to inappropriate IRW and DS storage conditions. Today, these storage facilities do not accept newly generated IRW and DS.

It bears mentioning that the generation of institutional radioactive waste and disused ionising radiation sources continues and that by 2060 the National Programme expects total generated waste of 100 m3.

Table: An assessment of current IRW and DS inventory in the Republic of Croatia

RW classificationCurrent volume (2015)Current volume (2015)Expected volume (2060)Expected activity, Bq
Kratkoživući RAO11,5 m32,4 x 1013100,0 m32,4 x 1013
Dugoživući RAO11,5 m3 1,5 x 1012100,0 m3 3,0 x 1012
UKUPNO11,5 m3 2,6 x 1013100,0 m3 2,7 x 1013

The establishment of a central storage facility for institutional radioactive waste and disused sources will lay the groundwork for the creation of an IRW and DS management system. The Strategy provides for its establishment over a short-term, two-year period (the first phase in the development of the RW Management Centre). Before the April 2015 amendment to the Radiological and Nuclear Safety Act, the responsibility for establishment of this storage facility lay with the State Office for Radiological and Nuclear Safety (now, the Ministry of the Interior). The State Office took the first steps towards its establishment as part of the Centre. With the amendment to the Radiological and Nuclear Safety Act, all responsibility for establishment of the Centre and the central storage facility was transferred to the Fund. The National Programme plans for the establishment of a central storage facility for institutional radioactive waste and disused sources as part of the Radioactive Waste Management Centre.

The central storage facility will provide storage for “inherited” institutional radioactive waste and disused sources from the medicine, industry, science and military sectors and public use, as well as future waste.

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