History

The RWTDF was constructed at the boundary of Püspökszilágy and Kisnémedi and was completed on 22 December 1976. It had a capacity of 3540 m3. The facility includes near-surface disposal vaults and vertical storage tubes. The first waste transport was received by the RWTDF in March 1977. The final operation license of the facility was issued by the Ministry of Health in 1980.

Initially, the RWTDF accepted all radioactive wastes originating from the application of atomic energy, except for a part of the radium sources from medical applications and other used radiation sources or products comprising fissile materials, which were ad-interim stored at a different location.

Of course, the suggestion came up that the wastes generated during the operation and decommissioning of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant should be finally disposed of in the RWTDF, since this was the only one facility in the country designated for the accommodation of low and intermediate level waste (LILW). However, the capacity extension to meet the full demand of Paks NPP could not be executed because of the characteristics of the site.

Nevertheless, 1230 m3 of the total capacity of the RWTDF was filled up with 854 m3 waste of the Paks NPP during the period between 1983 and 1989. Later the disposal capacity of the RWTDF was extended with the financial support of the nuclear power plant. The extended disposal capacity of the facility is 5040 m3. The transport of LILW from the Paks NPP into the RWTDF was suspended during the period between 1990 and 1991, due to the opposition of the population. Following this period, the transport of LILW to Püspökszilágy was resumed and continued between 1992 and 1996, thus a volume of 1580 m3 waste of nuclear power plant origin has been disposed of in a disposal volume of 2500 m3.

The disposal vaults became full in 2005, therefore a possibility had to be provided for the extension of the disposal capacity. This was facilitated by a multi-stage programme launched in 2002 with the aim to enhance safety and to carry out refurbishments.

Based on the results and experience gained during the demonstration program – carried out between 2007 and 2009 – the scope of the next period of the safety improvement program was determined by a safety analysis in 2010. The respective licensing and construction plans were developed accordingly and the competent authority granted the license to continue the program. In line with the plans, re-conditioning of an additional 1500 m3 of radioactive waste is expected in the mid-term.

Transport vehicles have to pass a radiation gate Barrels are offloaded using a crane The RWTDF operations hall The hot compartment manipulators in the operations hall Closed radiation sources are placed in 6-meter storage tubes Storage tubes in the operations building Barrels are placed in a basin