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Development of a Specific Methodology to Assess Suitable Sites to Receive a Repository for L/ILW Waste in the Portuguese Territory

[+] Author Affiliations
Isabel Paiva

Instituto Superior Técnico, Nuclear and Technological Campus, Loures, Portugal

Romão B. Trindade

MedicalConsult, S.A., Lisboa, Portugal

Mário A. Gonçalves, António Mateus

University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal

Paper No. ICEM2013-96144, pp. V001T01A026; 7 pages
  • ASME 2013 15th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management
  • Volume 1: Low/Intermediate-Level Radioactive Waste Management; Spent Fuel, Fissile Material, Transuranic and High-Level Radioactive Waste Management
  • Brussels, Belgium, September 8–12, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division, Environmental Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5601-7
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


Portugal does not have nuclear power plants but records an increasing production of radioactive waste from medical, industrial and research applications of radioactive materials in the form of sealed and unsealed sources; the country totals include also the spent fuel of one nuclear reactor for research purposes. Since radioactive waste management policies and practices in Portugal will have to comply with the Council Directive 2011/70/Euratom and the IAEA Joint Convention, the search for scientific and technological solutions to deal with radioactive wastes produced in the country started some years ago. The research carried out recently under the scope of a national funded project (KADRWaste, PTDC/CTE-GEX/82678/2006) represents a firm step in this commitment. Indeed, the transfer of methodologies tested and validated in this project allowed for improvement to a procedure to assess suitable sites to receive a near-surface repository for “Low and Intermediate Level Waste, Short Live and Long Live” (LILW-SL, LL) wastes in Portugal mainland. Although the main stages of the procedure can be of universal usage, details were designed according to the intrinsic geological, geomorphic and meteorological features of previously selected target-areas. All the requirements exhaustively listed in many reports of the IAEA were fulfilled and, in addition, the application of mineralogical, geochemical and textural criteria is strongly advised. The proposed procedure is based on a 5 key-steps approach preceded by clarification of the boundary conditions to be imposed, which are crucial to the inventory of various compulsory technical requirements. This analysis requires the adoption of stringent criteria, many of them of multi-disciplinary nature, including tests of vulnerability and assessment of uncertainty, besides the environmental impact risk. As a result, priority targets that are not excluded will integrate different classes and, depending on the existing knowledge, it will be possible to select locations suitable for the repository installation, taking into account also the political, social and administrative dimensions behind this decision.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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