Expansion of the NRWR and the construction of a VLAW storage facility
The purpose of the National Radioactive Waste Repository (NRWR) Mochovce is to store low and intermediate activity RAW from the operation and decommissioning of the Jaslovské Bohunice and Mochovce nuclear power plants. The repository is not meant to store spent nuclear fuel and highly active waste.
The main reason fort the continued construction of storage spaces at the NRWR is the creation of a suitable environment for the safe and efficient storage of low and intermediate activity RAW, as well as of very low activity RAW from the operation and decommissioning of all nuclear power plants of Slovakia, which are currently being operated (or built) or which are being decommissioned.
The need for the construction of another NRWR storage structure at Mochovce is linked to the Slovak Republic government resolution from 1999, about the premature shutdown and decommissioning of the V1 NPP in Jaslovské Bohunice. As a consequence of the premature decommissioning of the V1 NPP, the waste from the decommissioning has to be stored sooner than previously considered, as well as some of the operational RAW, for which the existing two NRWR double rows of Mochovce had originally been constructed. The capacity of these two double rows will suffice until 2020.
Currently, only about 20 % of the 11.2 ha area of the NRWR is being used for storing RAW. All of the land covered by the compound is owned by the state. This is required by the SR legislation for all RAW storage facilities. The premises are protected by a fence, there are an access and internal communication road, safety capturing troughs, the operations building and the actual storage structure i.e. the storage boxes. The repository compound currently comprises of two double rows of steel-reinforced concrete boxes with a capacity of 22,320 m3 of RAW. These are located in the northern part of the NRWR premises. The infrastructure and supplementary systems were designed to accommodate 10 double rows of a design similar to the current two double rows. In case a separate very low activity waste storage facility is built, the NRWR will be able to accommodate 7.5 double rows for the storage of low and intermediate activity RAW.
The NRWR in Mochovce can only store solid or solidified RAW in fiber-reinforced concrete containers, approved by the ÚJD. Very low activity wastes are wastes the activity of which is just slightly higher than the limiting value for reintroduction into the environment, and which can be stored in lower technical-construction grade storage facilities, while still maintaining nuclear safety and environmental protection standards. It will be possible to store this waste even without the use of the fiber-reinforced concrete containers. In comparison with the LIAW their treatment is simple and does not require specialized technology. The very low activity waste will be stored in the basic structure — cells, i.e. modules, in an approved type of encasement, suitable not only for storage, but also for transportation. The storage cell (module) comprises several protective layers above and below the waste. After the treatment of the bedrock, the lower protective layers will be applied, while the upper layers will be applied once the cell is filled with waste.