Czech waste repository may be build near NPP

3 November 2016

A permanent repository for used fuel and waste would be best sited at the NPP, either in Dukovany, south Moravia, or Temelin, south Bohemia, Dana Drabova, chairwoman of the State Office for Nuclear Safety (SUJB), said on Czech Television (CT) on 22 October. The Czech Republic is committed to building a repository by 2065. The cost is estimated at CZK112bn ($4.6bn) and CZK 24bn has so far been set aside for the purpose. Every entity which produces waste must contribute CZK50 per megawatt-hour of generated power.

The used fuel and waste is currently deposited in temporary stores at the two NPP sites. Drabova said building repositories at the nuclear plants "would help to resolve the deadlock" caused by the opposition of the municipalities chosen by the state as possible sites for disposal facilities. She noted that some municipalities in the vicinity of Dukovany had already shown interest in geological exploration, and. may agree if they were adequately compensated. 

When the NPPs were being built, it was assumed that used fuel would be transferred to the territory of the Soviet Union, but the situation changed when it the USSR collapsed in the early 1990s. The fuel was then transported to temporary stores with a lifespan of at least 50 years. Drabova said it seems now that it will be longer. She said that the control results after 10 years were excellent. The fuel has now been stored there for about 20 years.

At the end of 2011, the government chose seven localities where exploration was to start, but the mayors of five municipalities filed a complaint against the Environment Ministry. Drabova said neither of the two remaining localities may be suitable. She added that 20 years ago, the state chose about 25 localities and eventually narrowed the number to seven. Since then, however, the level of knowledge has changed so much that a suitable locality may now be found among those eliminated 20 years ago.

Drabova added that she would support building a single European repository which has been discussed for some time. This would cut expenditures, but she said she cannot imagine any politician selling this idea to the public of the suggested host country.

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