Radioactive waste storage in China

To keep pace with the development of nuclear technology applications, temporary storage facilities have been constructed in China since the 1960s. The Notification on Strengthening Radioactive Environment Management

Arrangement was issued in the Temporary Regulations on Construction of Urban Radioactive Waste Repository in 1984. The Methods on Urban Radio­active Waste Management was issued in 1987 [12,13]. Temporary waste storage facilities are constructed on a provincial basis. Each province (or autonomous region, or municipality directly under central government) builds one such facility to accommodate wastes arising from research, teaching, medicine and other applications of radioisotope and nuclear tech­nology within the province. Provincial environmental protection agencies have set up special organizations staffed with specialists responsible for supervision and environmental monitoring. The Criteria on Siting, Design and Construction of Application Waste Storage Facility was issued in 2004 [14] and requires the modification and extension to be carried out for exist­ing storage facilities to meet the new requirements. At present, special funds have been appropriated for this purpose. It also requires an environmental impact assessment to be made prior to such modification and extension, which cannot be implemented without approval by the relevant agencies. By the end of 2010, a total of 31 waste storage facilities, together with one centralized storage facility for spent radioactive sources, had been con­structed and/or upgraded in compliance with the new requirements. At the end of 2006, these facilities had received 64,572 m3 of disused sealed sources, of which 49,741 m3 are in the provincial storage facilities, and the remainder is in the national centralized facility.

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