Conditioning

Conditioning consists of those operations that produce a waste package suitable for handling, transport, storage or disposal. Prior to conditioning RAW for storage or disposal, the pre-disposal management waste accept­ance requirements (WAR) and the disposal facility WAC have to be con­sidered to ensure compliance with the storage facility or disposal site requirements, respectively. Where final disposal criteria do not yet exist, disposal criteria assumptions will be defined and incorporated into process­ing methodologies.

It should be noted that for some waste streams, treatment actions render a waste package that already conforms to the criteria for disposal and that no further conditioning is required. After conditioning, the final characteri­zation will take place in order to ensure that the waste package conforms to the WAC of the disposal facility.

Responsibilities

The responsibilities of the ‘generators and operators’ entail the following [3]:

• The technical, financial and administrative management of such wastes within the national regulatory framework and within any applicable co-operative governance arrangements.

• Development and ongoing review of site/industry-specific waste man­agement plans which are to be based on the requirements stipulated in the national radioactive waste management policy and strategy.

• Implementation of waste management plans by the establishment of appropriate waste management and facilities processes and the develop­ment of site/industry-specific waste management systems.

• Site/industry waste management in accordance with waste management systems to reflect sustainable development and principles such as con­tinual improvement and best available technology not entailing exces­sive cost (BATNEEC) and other elements of the national strategy.

At Necsa, the responsibility for the management of solid RAW is docu­mented [10]. This document highlights the responsibilities of the waste generators, the pre-disposal waste operator (NLM), waste disposal operator (National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institute) and the Safety Health and Environmental Quality Department (SHEQ).

The responsibility for the development and maintenance of the NRWMP lies with the Nuclear Liabilities Management (NLM) department of the Nuclear Services Division of Necsa. NLM is also responsible for the submis­sion of the plan to the National Committee on Radioactive Waste Manage­ment (NCRWM) [3] .

The establishment of the NRWMA and the main responsibility of the NRWMA is the final disposal of waste on a national basis at the Vaalputs National Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility, to ensure correct siting and design and to construct and operate new RAW disposal facilities for other waste categories [3] .

One of the functions of the NRWMA is to assist generators of small quantities of radioactive waste with the management of such waste as well as the management of ownerless waste (e. g., orphan sources) on behalf of the government. These responsibilities are currently being expedited by Necsa (NLM) on behalf of the government. The management of such waste streams are therefore included in the NRWMP.

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