A five-way international scientific cooperation agreement was signed in September by German and Russian organisations engaged in research and development of joint approaches and methods for the treatment of radioactive waste and the final disposal of radioactive waste in deep geological formations.
The German organisations included the Helmholtz Research Centre, the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), and Gesellschaft für Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit (GRS – the Society for Plant and Reactor Safety). The Russian organisations included federal state unitary enterprise National Operator of Radioactive Waste Management (NO RAO – part of state nuclear corporation Rosatom), and the Nuclear Safety Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences (IBRAE).
The agreement covers cooperation in the field of research on radioactive waste management and exchange of experience in the construction, operation and closure of final isolation facilities, as well as confirmation of the long-term safety of the final isolation of radioactive waste in deep geological formations.
“This cooperation is for us the next step towards creating an international examination of our enterprise’s projects,” said NO RAO director general Igor Igin. “In particular, this applies to the most high-tech project - an underground research laboratory in the Nizhnekansky rock massif.” The document was a continuation of the scientific and technical interaction between Russia and Germany, which began in 1986 in the field of nuclear safety research and research on radioactive waste disposal.
“The agreement represents an important stage in the development of cooperation in the field of scientific research between our countries,” said Lyudmila Zalimskaya, the official representative of Rosatom on international projects.
NO RAO, established in 2012, is the only organisation in Russia authorised to manage radioactive waste. It operates the first Russian final radwaste isolation point for class 3 and 4 waste (low- and intermediate-level) in Novouralsk (Sverdlovsk Region), as well as geological final radwaste isolation points in Seversk (Tomsk Region), Zheleznogorsk (Krasnoyarsk Territory), and Dimitrovgrad (Ulyanovsk Region). NO RAO is building an underground research laboratory in Krasnoyarsk Territory at a depth of 500m to study the possibility of placing class 1 and 2 (high level) radioactive waste in geological formations of the rock mass. Licensing is underway for the construction and placement of final isolation points for class 3 and 4 radwaste of in Seversk.