Radioactive Waste Treatment and Disposal Facility
The Radioactive Waste Treatment and Disposal Facility (RWTDF) was designed (in 1971) and commissioned (in 1976) in conformity with international recommendations of the 60-ties and the then valid Hungarian and CMEA (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance) standards. The main function of the near surface facility is the reception and disposal of radioactive wastes of institutional origin. RWTDF is responsible for providing its services in a wide range over the entire area of the country. The disposal facility has been operating safely and reliably for 4 decades. It had been operated by the Municipal Institute of the National Public Health and Medical Officer Service until July 1, 1998 and has been operated by PURAM at present.
An annual volume of some 5 to 10 m3 low and intermediate level waste, about 300 spent radiation sources and 3000 radiation sources from smoke detectors are generated by smaller radioactive waste producers, such as hospitals, laboratories and industrial companies. The most frequently used isotopes are 60Co, 137CS, 90Sr and 3H.
The operation of the site and any modification in safety related items of equipment shall not be allowed unless approved by the competent authorities.
The principal activities of the site are covered by four licenses of different subject:
- countrywide license for the road transport of radioactive material (waste);
- permit for conditioning the received waste and for the operation of waste treatment systems;
- permit for the long-term (multi-decade) interim storage of conditioned radioactive waste that can’t be disposed of in the repository;
- license for the disposal of conditioned short lived low and intermediate level waste.
The licenses are valid for a certain period of time, they have to be renewed regularly. In addition to the licenses issued for the principal activities, the completion of related activities (such as guarding, normal operational discharge of radioactive materials, and investment projects) is also subject to licenses issued by the competent security, environmental etc. authorities.
For the last fifteen years the main objective was to ensure that the several decade old facility complies with the present day’s requirements. To this end a multi-stage program was launched to carry out refurbishment as well as to enhance safety and gain additional disposal capacity in the existing vaults for the long term receipt of low- and intermediate-level wastes exclusively of non- nuclear power plant origin.