RAW temporary storage points

In the course of remediation activities in the vicinity of the ChNPP site, large volumes of RAW were generated and placed in temporary near-sur­face storage facilities located at distances of 0.5-15 km from the ChNPP site. The RWTSP in the shape of the trenches and landfills were created from 1986 to 1987 as a result of the clean-up of contaminated areas, to avoid spreading of dust, to reduce radiation levels and provide better working conditions at unit 4 and its surroundings. These facilities were established without proper design documentation, engineered barriers or hydrogeo­logical investigations, which are required by contemporary waste safety standards.

The total area of temporary RAW facilities is about 8 km2, with the total volume of disposed RAW estimated to be over 106m3. The main inventories of activity are concentrated in the Stroybaza and Ryzhy Les RWTSP along the western trace of the Chernobyl fallout. The specific activity of the RAW in the RWTSP at Ryzhy Les is 105-106 Bq kg-1 of 90Sr and 137Cs and 103-104 Bq kg-1 of plutonium isotopes.

Most of the facilities were built in the form of trenches 1.5-2.5 m deep in the local alluvial sand. The radioactive material (soil, litter, wood and build­ing debris) is overlain by a layer of sand 0.2-0.5 m thick. These facilities are therefore very variable with regard to their potential for release, the reten­tion capacity of the substratum along migration pathways and the location of the sites in hydrogeological settings. Only half of these temporary RAW facilities have been studied.

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