A new type of repository: the adoption of the controlled prolonged storage concept

In 2010-2011 the construction of a new type of RAW repository was com­pleted. This new repository is a ground-based reinforced concrete bunker with an area of 172 x 190 m2 and a height of6m, divided into 20 autonomous modules. In this construction, the boundary area between the RAW massif and the natural geological medium is reduced, the repository is reliably protected from rainfall and flooding, maintenance and monitoring is simpler, and RAW can be localized with the possibility of retrieval.

Each bunker is designed to store 110,000 m3 of conditioned RAW, immo­bilized into a cement matrix, packed into long-life reinforced containers (NZK-150-1.5P), and sealed using a special non-shrinking concrete mixture. Containers are brought into the bunker on trucks and are placed into the relevant sections using a forklift truck. The repository has a ventilation system in order to remove off-gases, along with three drainage systems (rain canalization, near-wall-bed drainage, and a system for filtrate removal). RAW can be safely stored for 50 years in this ground-based bunker, with RAW that may need to be moved to another location after 50 years stored separately.

If the facility is to become a disposal site, the free space between the packages containing conditioned RAW is filled with bentonite, which is able to absorb radionuclides and swells on contact with water, thus filling any cracks and repairing other possible damage caused by construction sagging. The construction is covered by an elevated multilayer protective coating, which includes a biological barrier and a watertight screen consisting of reinforced concrete, and layers of crushed stone, clay, geo-textile, geo-mem­brane, silt, sand and topsoil. The design of this construction guarantees the long-term safe storage of conditioned RAW.

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