National Academies Press: OpenBook
« Previous: Appendix E: New Trends in Monitoring Multiethnic Russia (Valery Tishkov)
Suggested Citation:"Appendix F: Final Stages in Disposition of Radioactive Waste (Vladislav A. Petrov)." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Roots and Trajectories of Violent Extremism and Terrorism: A Cooperative Program of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Sciences (1995-2020). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26281.
×

Appendix F

Final Stages in Disposition of Radioactive Waste

Academician Vladislav A. Petrov
Institute of Geology of Ore Deposits, Petrography, Mineralogy, and Geochemistry

This report highlights the importance of continued National Academy of Sciences–Russian Academy of Sciences cooperation in addressing the challenges of the final stages of disposal of radioactive material.

A consensus-based solution to the problems during the final stages of nuclear materials management is an important challenge for Russia and the United States, especially in view of radiological risks at low levels of exposure. Cooperation between the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in this field has a very good “credibility history.” In 2003 the National Academies Press issued the report End Points for Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste in Russia and the United States. The report was written by leading specialists from the two countries, including John F. Ahearne, Nikolai P. Laverov, Rodney C. Ewing, B. John Garrick, Darleane C. Hoffman, Nikolay N. Melnikov, Boris F. Myasoedov, Alexander A. Pek, Michail I. Solonin, Yuri K. Shiyan, and others.

The study that led to the report was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy. The report provides scientific and technical analyses on handling of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level radioactive waste (HLW) and the associated management challenges in Russia and the United States. The report provides characteristics of the content of wastes, comparative analyses of management approaches adopted in the two countries, and evaluations

Suggested Citation:"Appendix F: Final Stages in Disposition of Radioactive Waste (Vladislav A. Petrov)." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Roots and Trajectories of Violent Extremism and Terrorism: A Cooperative Program of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Sciences (1995-2020). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26281.
×

of different options for the final stages of interim and long-term storage of materials and waste, as well as final disposal of waste. The final phase for damaged SNF and nonrecyclable HLW calls for creation of disposal conditions that set a stage for a stable, secure, and reliable location for these materials, thereby preventing their access by extremists and professional terrorists.

The consolidated information has helped in correctly assessing all possible actions that should be adopted by Russia and the United States from both the near-term and the long-term perspectives. New areas of cooperation for solving the problems of interest for the two countries were also identified. These areas include the following:

  1. Training highly qualified personnel now and in the future.
  2. Protecting nuclear materials by locating them at a few reliably protected facilities.
  3. Conducting research and development of methodologies for antiterrorism measures.
  4. Upgrading technology and approaches for handling SNF discharges, including utilization of decommissioned nuclear power stations.
  5. Managing waste generated during production of nuclear weapons.
  6. Transporting SNF.
  7. Developing high-stability matrices for immobilization of various types of HLW.
  8. Developing integrated approaches for selection of the geological environment and locations for long-term storage and disposal of nuclear materials.
  9. Improving methods of processing SNF and HLW.

This pioneering work was the foundation for a number of joint research activities within such frameworks as “An International Repository of Irradiated Nuclear Fuel. Investigation of Possibilities for Establishing a Nuclear Waste Repository in Russia” (NAP, 2005); “Prospects for Improving Nuclear Safety. Protection of Weapons-Grade Materials in Russia” (NAP, 2006); “Preparatory work for Establishment of International Storage Facilities for Spent Nuclear Fuel” (2008, NAP); and “Internationalization of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Goals, Strategy, and Challenges” (2009, NAP).

To deal with the problem of final stages of handling nuclear materials, Russia has recently undertaken significant efforts. For example, intensive development of construction of a deep disposal facility for radioactive waste in Nizhnekanskii Granitoid Massive, in the Mountain-Chemical Combine

Suggested Citation:"Appendix F: Final Stages in Disposition of Radioactive Waste (Vladislav A. Petrov)." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Roots and Trajectories of Violent Extremism and Terrorism: A Cooperative Program of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Sciences (1995-2020). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26281.
×

area (Zheleznogorsk, Krasnoyarsk region) is underway. A comprehensive research program to substantiate long-term security of nuclear waste disposal based on optimization of operational parameters was developed to implement the project during 2016–2018. “The Strategic Masterplan of Research to Substantiate Security of Construction, Exploitation and Closing of Deep Disposal Site for Radioactive Waste” has been approved by the State Atomic Energy Corporation (SAEC), which is linked to ROSATOM. Also, another relevant document is “The Strategy to Construct a Deep Disposal Facility for Radioactive Waste.” It sets forth the planning of events for more than 50 years into the future.

The challenge in approaching the final stages of nuclear materials handling and secure isolation of SNF—accumulated and routinely formed—continues to be a major radio-ecological problem in Russia. Many repositories are already full in accordance with their design levels or are very close to such a state. Thus, SAEC ROSATOM is constructing and plans to construct more new facilities. In this regard, the territory of the Priargunsk Mining and Chemical Association (PAO PPGHO), which is the biggest uranium ore mining and processing enterprise in Russia, is very promising because of its geographical location, natural and geological conditions, and infrastructure, economic, and technological opportunities for establishing an SNF repository, which can be given international status. The enterprise is situated in East Transbaikalia, where molybdenum-uranium is exploited in the Streltsovsk ore field.

This district is located in a sparsely populated area at a significant distance from large towns, settlements, and industrial centers. Also, it is connected with other Russian regions by railroad lines, roadways, and airline routes. The area is known for its detailed geological characteristics, which resulted from years of prospecting and exploration, geological and geophysical surveys, exploratory drilling and underground mining, and extensive scientific research work.

Crystalline rocks are present in the Archean-Proterozoic gneisses and Paleozoic granites, which are massive rocks with high strength properties in an undisturbed state. There are slightly deformed geological blocks, which due to their sizes can comprise the infrastructure of an underground SNF facility. Different variants of such a facility have been discussed with specialists from a U.S. National Research Council committee, led by M. Levenson and C. McCombie. They visited PAO PPGHO in 2002 to study problems associated with the final stages of nuclear material management in Russia.

It is clear that both the United States and Russia can solve many problems with the treatment of nuclear materials independently. But new

Suggested Citation:"Appendix F: Final Stages in Disposition of Radioactive Waste (Vladislav A. Petrov)." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Roots and Trajectories of Violent Extremism and Terrorism: A Cooperative Program of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Sciences (1995-2020). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26281.
×

challenges and the urgent need to reduce even low levels of radiological risks dictate the importance of further cooperative research that was started by the RAS and the NAS to manage the problems during the final stages in handling nuclear materials.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix F: Final Stages in Disposition of Radioactive Waste (Vladislav A. Petrov)." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Roots and Trajectories of Violent Extremism and Terrorism: A Cooperative Program of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Sciences (1995-2020). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26281.
×
Page131
Suggested Citation:"Appendix F: Final Stages in Disposition of Radioactive Waste (Vladislav A. Petrov)." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Roots and Trajectories of Violent Extremism and Terrorism: A Cooperative Program of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Sciences (1995-2020). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26281.
×
Page132
Suggested Citation:"Appendix F: Final Stages in Disposition of Radioactive Waste (Vladislav A. Petrov)." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Roots and Trajectories of Violent Extremism and Terrorism: A Cooperative Program of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Sciences (1995-2020). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26281.
×
Page133
Suggested Citation:"Appendix F: Final Stages in Disposition of Radioactive Waste (Vladislav A. Petrov)." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Roots and Trajectories of Violent Extremism and Terrorism: A Cooperative Program of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Sciences (1995-2020). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26281.
×
Page134
Next: Appendix G: Far-Right Domestic Extremism (James Halverson) »
Roots and Trajectories of Violent Extremism and Terrorism: A Cooperative Program of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Sciences (1995-2020) Get This Book
×
Buy Hardback | $40.00 Buy Ebook | $32.99
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

During the past 25 years, the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, in collaboration with the Russian Academy of Sciences, have carried out a wide variety of activities to improve understanding of the challenges in containing and reducing ethnic conflicts, violent extremism, and terrorism. Roots and Trajectories of Violent Extremism and Terrorism provides an overview of this cross-ocean program, which has involved American and Russian scientists, engineers, and medical professionals from a large number of government agencies, leading research institutions, think tanks, educational institutions, analytical centers, and consulting and commercial firms in the two countries. This report highlights challenges addressed by the academies over many years that remain of current interest as the U.S., Russian, and other governments continue to cope with old and new forms of aggression that threaten the livelihood of populations at home and abroad.

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    Switch between the Original Pages, where you can read the report as it appeared in print, and Text Pages for the web version, where you can highlight and search the text.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  9. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!