Storage duration

All radioactive waste generated on the Necsa site is still stored there. However, on 7 May 2011, the first shipment of LLW (Fig. 20.7) was disposed of at Vaalputs, and as this operation will take place over many years, it is assumed that some of these waste classes will continue to be stored for at least another 10 years at the Necsa site. Conditioning of this waste should therefore allow for storage at Necsa for a period of at least 10 years. Con­ditioning of HLW should ensure compliance with long-term interim storage at the Necsa or Vaalputs site (50 years).

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20.7 LLW from Necsa to transferred Vaalputs disposal site [1].

20.1.3 National radioactive waste management system

Radioactive waste management as interpreted by Necsa is structured as presented in Fig. 20.8 . Radioactive waste management in South Africa is structured and implemented by including the applicable sections from the various National Acts, i. e National Environmental Management Act (No. 107 of 1998), The National Nuclear Regulator Act (No. 47 of 1999), the Nuclear Energy Act (No. 46 of 1999), the Hazardous Substances Act (No. 15 of 1973), the National Water Act (No. 36 of 1998), etc. On a strategic level, the NRWMPS expresses the national commitment towards the man­agement of RAW in order to ensure a coordinated and cooperative approach to RAW management and to provide a national strategy and framework for the development of future waste management plans.

Site-specific waste management plans are then developed based on the directives and guidelines provided by the NRWMPS. The purpose is to create an optimized and sustainable plan that provides for acceptable waste stream-specific pre-disposal management prescriptions for the identified waste end-points. The waste management plan is supported by the waste management system elements aimed at ensuring and demonstrating that waste management practices comply with requirements. The system renders the support structure for the implementation of the site-specific waste man­agement plans. It provides for pre-disposal management standards and integrates the relevant legal, regulatory and strategic management require­ments that will eventually lead to the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) approval of the system. Elements of the System include: site waste manage­ment principles, site waste management responsibilities, quality assurance and site waste management processes and pre-disposal standards.

Facility-specific waste management programmes (FSWMP) are devel­oped from the waste management plan. The purpose of this is to ensure and demonstrate compliant and consistent waste management practices at each facility. These programmes are developed by integration of the relevant plan, system, operational and regulatory requirements.

The general radioactive waste management process is demonstrated in Fig. 20.9 , which shows the typical interactions between waste generators, pre-disposal and disposal operators, as well as the demarcations existing between them. It should be noted, however, that Fig. 20.9 presents the process for general waste streams. In the case of special waste streams, the waste generators are responsible for some or all of the pre-disposal steps.

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