Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.
5 Ensuring Nuclear and Radiation Safety in the Use of Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Purposes Andrei B. Malyshev, Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom) Environmental problems associated with the use of nuclear energy, includ- ing those that accumulated over the half-century of the arms race, concern both specialists and the public. It is obvious that the future of nuclear technologies both in the Russian Federation and in the world as a whole depend on their suc- cessful resolution. The atomic industry, which began to take shape in the interest of defense in the 1940s and 1950s, proceeded along a complex path of development from sci- entific discoveries and technological inventions to subsequent industrial produc- tion and implementation. This was a difficult period, including the establishment of the nuclear industry and the development of the nuclear-powered submarine fleet, the sources of our main ecological problems today. Meanwhile, the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes also began. The nuclear power sector developed so that in 2007, 10 nuclear power plants are operating (31 reactor units), with a total established capacity of 23.2 GW. This complex includes the following: â¢ Northwest Region: Leningrad plant, 4 GW; Kola plant, 1.8 GW â¢ Central Region: Smolensk plant, 3 GW; Novovoronezh plant, 1.8 GW; Kursk plant, 4 GW; Kalinin plant, 3 GW â¢ Southern Region: Volgodonsk plant, 1 GW 13
14 CLEANING UP SITES CONTAMINATED WITH RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS â¢ Volga Region: Balakovo plant, 4 GW â¢ Urals Region: Beloyarsk plant, 0.6 GW â¢ Far East Region: Bilibino plant, 0.05 GW In 2006 the nuclear power plants produced 154.6 billion kWh of electricity. They produced 16.5 percent of total electricity output (29.3 percent in the Euro- pean portion of Russia) and comprised 11 percent of total established production capacity. The nuclear industry has always devoted a great deal of attention to ensur- ing nuclear and radiation safety. This has been based on measures that have been generally adequate for existing technological capabilities and on the level of knowledge regarding the effect of radiation on human health and the environ- ment. However, many of these measures are now unacceptable from the stand- point of current knowledge. Today the nuclear and radiation security situation in the country is charac- terized by the presence of a number of facilities that do not meet modern safety requirements. The government recognizes the need to resolve accumulated prob- lems and develop a system for ensuring and monitoring nuclear and radiation safety. In particular, a 2006 analysis shows a large volume of deferred problems in need of systematic and comprehensive efforts. Reactor units have been decom- missioned at 5 nuclear power reactor sites, 13 industrial uranium-graphite reactor sites, 17 research reactor sites, and sites of various critical fuel assemblies and other types of equipment. A total of 198 atomic-powered submarines are being decommissioned from the naval fleet as follows: â¢ Dismantled and disposed of: 148 â¢ Currently being dismantled: 23 â¢ Awaiting dismantlement: 24 â¢ Special resolution required for submarines in critical condition: 3 For a long time, such problems were addressed on an emergency, accident- response basis. Now, in the interest of dealing with these problems in an effective and coordinated manner, the Federal Targeted Program for Ensuring Nuclear and Radiation Safety for 2008 to 2015 has been developed and is in the process of being approved. The concept for this program was ratified by the government in April 2007. Implementation of this program will make it possible to accomplish prior- ity objectives in creating basic infrastructural elements needed to handle spent nuclear fuel and radioactive wastes and to eliminate many problems associated with past activities, including rehabilitation of radiation-contaminated facilities and sites. It is expected that resolution of the problems of our ânuclear heritageâ will be financed from the state budget, while the processing of newly created
ENSURING NUCLEAR AND RADIATION SAFETY 15 spent fuel and radioactive wastes will be financed by market entities that must accumulate the necessary funds. A key task is creation of a system for managing nuclear and radiation safety. There should be a logical concept based on the entire life cycle. An institutional model defined by the state and industry is necessary. Engineering infrastructure is needed along with a financing mechanism to allow for the accumulation of funds. The Federal Targeted Program is important to provide budgetary funds. Newly created spent fuel and radioactive waste must be taken care of. Rehabilitation of radiation-contaminated sites is a mandatory element of the ongoing work of our enterprises, although it must be recognized that this work is now being carried out on a very limited basis. However, efforts to clean up such sites have taken on a broad scope in connection with the implementation of projects for the comprehensive dismantlement and disposal of decommissioned nuclear-powered submarines. The next important step must be the implementation of a range of measures stipulated in the Federal Targeted Program for Ensuring Nuclear and Radiation Safety. In particular, of course, this includes efforts at the Mayak Production As- sociation. In fact, the currently observed level of security for personnel, the pub- lic, and the environment with regard to the impact of the radiation-contaminated facilities at Mayak, including the industrial reservoirs, is generally at an accept- able level. That is, radiation effects on personnel, the public, and the environment are within currently existing norms. The exception, of course, is the impact on wildlife inhabiting the industrial reservoirs at the enterprise. However, the risks caused by the problems that accumulated during the arms race could potentially entail significant damages. This primarily concerns prob- lems of the industrial reservoirs operated by Mayak, including problems of the Techa Cascade reservoirs. The current reservoirs at Mayak are as follows: (a) Techa Reservoir Cascade â¢ Area: 6,740 ha â¢ Volume: 358 million m3 â¢ Activity: 0.337 million Ci (b) Reservoir V-9 (âKarachaiâ) â¢ Area: 11 ha â¢ Volume: 0.4 million m3 â¢ Activity: 120 million Ci (c) Reservoir V-17 (âStaroye Bolotoâ) â¢ Area: 14 ha â¢ Volume: 0.3 million m3 â¢ Activity: 1.2 million Ci Many problems associated with our nuclear heritage cannot be resolved without massive scientific support and consideration of international experience.
16 CLEANING UP SITES CONTAMINATED WITH RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS For many years, specialists from the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) have provided serious assistance in our work. It is necessary to mention the efforts of the RAS Institute of Geology of Ore Deposits, Petrography, Mineralogy, and Geochemistry at Lake Karachai and the Techa Cascade and in assessing the ecol- ogy surrounding uranium deposits. Also of importance has been the work of the RAS Nuclear Safety Institute on the comprehensive dismantlement of nuclear submarines, resolution of Mayak problems, and general coordination of research efforts aimed at ensuring nuclear and radiation security. Many interesting and important results have been obtained as a result of cooperation between the Russian and U.S. Academies of Sciences and through work coordinated by the International Science and Technology Center. These efforts include work on radioactive waste management and the rehabilitation of contaminated sites. The practical experience of work done in the United States and other countries to decommission facilities involving nuclear and radiation dangers and to rehabilitate contaminated areas is very important to us. The problem of rehabilitating contaminated sites has taken on added reso- nance in connection with the process of converting enterprises to joint-stock companies that we have begun in the industry. In our opinion the reform process that has begun within industry must not lead to a reduction in the level of envi- ronmental security that has already been achieved at enterprises, but must also promote resolution of accumulated problems. We have laid the foundation for this to a significant extent. This includes joint implementation of conceptually coordinated programs for the accelerated development of nuclear power and promotion of nuclear and radiation safety that have been developed, taking into account new forms of management and regulation regarding the use of nuclear power. Meanwhile, we need to shape a renewed policy of corporate management of environmental protection and utilization of natural resources. It is understand- able that the foundations that have already been laid for environmentally safe operations must be securely consolidated and further developed. We must remove the unfounded fears of the population associated with the activities of our enterprises. Therefore, information dissemination efforts must be an important part of our work. In recent years we have done a great deal in this regard. Industry reports on security are published openly each year, and a great amount of data on environmental protection issues has been posted on the Web sites of the Atomic Energy Agency. Todayâs workshop has brought together leading specialists in the area of ensuring radiation safety. Their experience in cleaning up radiation-contaminated sites is of great scientific and practical interest. I believe that this workshop will be fruitful for all participants. I wish the participants successful work.