Russia and Korea to cooperate in radwaste management

18 December 2018

Russia's National Operator for Radioactive Waste Management (NO RWM), Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom and the Korea Radioactive Waste Agency (KORAD) today signed an agreement to cooperate in radioactive waste management. The agreement was signed by Igor Igin, NO RWM's director genera, Oleg Kryukov, Rosatom's director of state policy on radioactive waste, used nuclear fuel and decommissioning, and Cha Sung-soo, chairman of KORAD.

NO RWM's Igor Igin, Rosatom's Oleg Kryukov and KORAD's Cha Sung-soo signing the agreement (Image: Rosatom)

Rosatom said the agreement provides for the exchange of scientific and technical information, the results of research and development, as well as the legal, social and ethical aspects of the final disposal of radioactive waste. The Russian and Korean parties to the agreement will observe and participate in research, as well as the organisation of seminars and visits by teams of specialists and the public to facilities for the disposal of radioactive waste in Russia and Korea.

On the eve of the signing of the agreement, the Russian side organised a working meeting with representatives of KORAD, at which the main activities for the implementation of the agreement for 2019 were identified.
In 2016, NO RWM launched the final dispoal of classes 3 and 4 of radioactive waste in Novouralsk, which is in the Sverdlovsk region of Russia. This year construction started on the second stage of the facility, while in 2019 construction work will start on facilities for radioactive waste of classes 3 and 4 in Seversk, which is in the Tomsk region, and Ozersk, which is the Chelyabinsk region.

Construction also started this year on a transmission line for the creation and operation of an underground research laboratory to study the final disposal of classes 1 and 2 of radioactive waste in the Nizhnekansky massif in the Krasnoyarsk Territory at a depth of over 500 meters.

Headquartered in Gyeongju, a city on South Korea's southeast coast, KORAD will next year work on the second stage of construction of a facility for the final disposal of low- and intermediate-level waste. KORAD is also engaged in the preparation of a strategy and implementation of high-level waste management projects, Rosatom said.

In September, KORAD agreed to extend its existing cooperation and practical arrangements with the International Atomic Energy Agency. After originally signing a practical agreement with the Vienna-based agency in 2015, KORAD has expanded international exchanges by sending personnel to the IAEA to train specialists in radioactive waste management and international technology exchange, and to carry out projects related to the disposal of high-level waste.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News