RAW Management

RAW management and SF management fully complies with the Policy of Radioactive Waste Management and Spent Fuel Management. This Policy (i.e. national policy and practice according to the Joint Convention terminology and national programme and national policy according to the Council Directive 2011/70/EURATOM terminology) is a fundamental document which defines the RAW management policy and strategy of the government and its agencies (waste generated from nuclear installations and workplaces with ionizing radiation sources in healthcare, research and industry). The Policy has been updated in 2010-2014 to comply with the current RAW management practices, the status of DGR development, changes in legal framework, governmental documents and international experiences and trends. Another reason for the update of the Policy were the requirements of the Directive and recommendations of IAEA and OECD/NEA. The draft of updated Policy has been approved by the Government on 15 December 2014. The updated Policy, once the process of Strategic Environmental Assessment had been finished, was approved by the Czech government Resolution No. 852 on 29 November 2017. As a result of the EC's requirement to add performance indicators and the assessment of the costs of the national programme into the Policy, a further update of the Policy took place in 2019. Currently valid document was discussed and approved by the Czech government by the Resolution No. 597 of 26 June 2019.

The requirements RAW management are defined in the Part IV. of the Atomic Act (No. 263/2019 Coll) and in Decree No. 377/2016 Coll.

State Office for Nuclear Safety annually publishes a report on the management of radioactive waste in the CR - see below (Section 3 Para 2 Point k) of The Act No. 18/1997 Coll. and from January 1, 2017 Section 208 Point o) of the Atomic Act).

International obligations

The Czech Republic is a signatory to the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management. In agreement with the obligations resulting from its accession to the Joint Convention, the Czech Republic has compiled already the seventh National Report for the purpose of review meetings of the Contracting Parties, which describes the spent fuel and radioactive waste management system in the scope required by the specific articles of the Joint Convention. At the same time the National Report contains information on the implementation of Council Directive 2011/70/EURATOM of 19 July 2011 establishing a Community framework for the responsible and safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste. The National Report provides, at the national level, a source of up-to-date and public information on spent fuel and radioactive waste management practices across the facilities subject to the Joint Convention. The results from four review meetings of the Contracting Parties to the Joint Convention held up till now and the existing practices make it possible to conclude that spent fuel and radioactive waste management in the Czech Republic fully complies with the provisions of Joint Convention.

Conditioning of radioactive waste

Liquid RAW (radioactive concentrate) from NPPs Dukovany and Temelín is immobilized in bitumen, ie. into a form complying with waste acceptance criteria for disposal. The main process equipment is a film rotor evaporator where the concentrate is mixed with bitumen and water is evaporated. The resulting product is filled into 200-liter drums. Solid waste is compacted into 200-liter drums or incinerated, melted and supercompacted abroad. Sludge and ion exchangers resins are treated by immobilization in aluminosilicate matrix using a portable device.

Liquid radioactive waste (concentrate) and solid radioactive waste (after compacting) from the ÚJV Řež, a. s. are immobilized in cement in drums.

Radioactive waste disposal

For the purpose of management of activities associated with RAW disposal, the Ministry of Industry and Trade set up the organization of SÚRAO (RAWRA - Radioactive Waste Repository Authority)

Costs of activities associated with RAW and SF disposal are paid from the nuclear account, a source funded by RAO and SF generators in agreement with the Atomic Act and the Government Order while the nuclear account as part of the governmental assets and liabilities is managed by the Ministry of Finance. This ensures that disposal costs for waste currently generated will not be transferred to future generations.

Currently there are three radioactive waste disposal facilities (ÚRAO) at the territory of the Czech Republic in operation - ÚRAO Dukovany, ÚRAO Richard and ÚRAO Bratrství.

Deep geological repository

Another disposal facility, which is expected to be operational after 2065, will be the deep geological repository (DGR) for RAW not complying with waste acceptance criteria of operating disposal facilities and for SF once declared for RAW. Since 2012 SÚJB in its annual reports (Part I., Chapter. 3.1.3; in Czech only) comments its development.

On 12 September 2014 SÚJB and SÚRAO signed an Agreement on the Cooperation in the Development of Deep Geological Repository. SÚJB and SÚRAO shall, under this Agreement:

  1. within the scope of their competence, as defined by the relevant legislation, to consult on conceptual and safety aspects in the preparation of a DGR and to take into account the results of mutual consultations in the preparation and design of the R&D programme,
  2. cooperate, to the extent permitted by the existing legal framework, in assessing the procedures and results achieved by the SÚRAO in the field of DGR preparation, together with other research and development results;
  3. regularly evaluate the QA programme for the DGR site selection period,
  4. participate in communication with the public, in particular to inform it of compliance with safety requirements.

In the process of selecting two DGR candidate sites, SÚRAO had prepared studies in the scope of the preliminary safety report which were subsequently submitted to the SÚJB for initial evaluation in 2018. SÚJB noted that one of the original nine sites (Kraví hora) conflicts with some of the site selecting criteria under Decree No. 378/2016 Coll. The SÚJB's opinion was fully taken into account in the next steps of the DGR development, ie. by the reduction of the number of DGR candidate sites from nine to four.

On 4 June 2020, the Advisory Panel of Experts recommended to the Director of SÚRAO to reduce the number of potential DGR candidate sites to four (Janoch – Temelín jih, Horka, Hrádek, Březový potok). On 18 June 2020, the Council of SÚRAO has approved the reduction of DGR candidate sites as recommended by the Advisory Panel. These recommendations will be forwarded to the Ministry of the Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic and subsequently to the Government of the Czech Republic for approval. The representative of the SÚJB participated as an observer at the work of the Advisory Panel in accordance with the above cited Agreement between SÚJB and SÚRAO. The SÚJB observer, in accordance with the Statute of the Advisory Panel, did not have the right to vote and was not directly involved in the site evaluation process. However, the final report of the Advisory Panel confirmed the results of the 2018 Study analysis. The site conflicting with the site selecting criteria under Decree No. 378/2016 Coll. occupied the last place in the evaluation of the Advisory Panel. The other eight sites were divided into two groups depending on whether or not further work would be performed. On 21 December 2020 the Government of the Czech Republic, on the basis of a proposal from the Minister of Industry and Trade, decided that the DGR will be placed in one of the following four locations - Janoch near NPP Temelin site, Horka (Třebíč Region), Hrádek (Jihlava Region), or Březový potok (Klatovy Region).The narrowing of the number of potential sites to four, approximately 30 years after the start of the DGR project in the Czech Republic, is the first significant milestone approaching the start of the DGR operation in 2065.

FAQ to disposal facilities

In the context of the narrowing of the number of potential deep geological repository sites, the SÚJB decided to summarize the frequently asked questions of the general public and partly scientific community on the deep geological repository development and provided responses at its website and social networks (Twitter, Facebook; in Czech only). The list of FAQ will be continuously updated.

Reports on the management of radioactive waste in the Czech Republic (in relation to the requirement to inform municipalities and counties in the management of radioactive waste on the territory they administer according to Section 208 Point o) of the Atomic Act; in Czech):

  • 2021                          • 2015                          • 2009
  • 2020                          • 2014                          2008
  • 2019                          • 2013                          2007
  • 2018                          • 2012                          2006
  • 2017                          • 2011                          • 2005
  • 2016                          • 2010                          • 2004

Further information on the management of radioactive waste at the contact address:

Státní úřad pro jadernou bezpečnost
Department of RAW and SF Management
Senovážné náměstí 9
CZ-110 00 Praha 1
Czech Republic

e-mail: RAW@sujb.cz