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Radioactive Waste and the Environment in the Kurchatov Center


An Analysis of Burials of Radioactive Waste in the Territory of the Russian Research Center "Kurchatov Institute" in Moscow and Paths of Supposed Radionuclides Migration in the Environment

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-RED/Remediation and Decontamination/Environment
  • ENV-RWT/Radioactive Waste Treatment/Environment

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Kulikov G G

Leading Institute
Kurchatov Research Center, Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • Institute of Environmental Geoscience, Russia, Moscow


  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA, WA, Richland\nGesellschaft für Anlagen und Reaktorsicherheit mbH, Germany, Köln\nBritish Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL), UK, Chesire, Risley Warrington\nDCMR Environmental Protection Agency, The Netherlands, Schledam\nInternational Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA), Austria, Laxenburg\nClemson University / School of the Environment, USA, SC, Clemson

Project summary

The main purpose of the Project is in collecting and analyzing of input data for modeling of a transport of radionuclides from storages of radioactive waste (RW) in the territory of the RRC KI, as well as in assessment of long-term environmental impact both when nominally exploiting the storages and when most probable hypothetical accidents of a natural and technogenic origin occur.

Input data that will be obtained in result of works over the Project will be used for fulfillment of the relevant analytical examinations and assessments of environmental impact upon ecological situation. These assessments will be carried out on the basis of modeling the processes of transport of radionuclides in natural media. Russian organizations and the International Institute for Applied System Analysis will carry out this modeling simultaneously and separately. The decision on engaging the IIASA as an independent international expert was reached on the basis of an arrangement between the RRC KI, Minatom of Russian Federation and IIASA in view of high level of requirements to substantiation of further treatment of RW being reviewed and to a choice of technology for rehabilitation the territory of RRC KI. Disposition of the RRC KI in the vicinity of the center of Moscow in immediate proximity to the river of Moscow was taken into account. As well, positive experience of the IIASA in fulfillment of similar operations at objects of the Minatom of Russian Federation was valued.

The burials of RW in the territory of RRC KI are mainly a radiation legacy of the initial stage of operations under the Soviet Nuclear Project (end of 40-th up to middle 70-th of last century). They represent solid radioactive waste storages of a trench-style that had been formed in result of warehousing RW into a natural gully that later (up to the end of 1955) was being filled with ordinary construction waste, and also engineering structures (concrete storehouses) which were erected in later years. Blanket radioactivity of RW is being preliminary assessed as 100,000 Ci. Surface distribution of this activity makes from 1 mCi/sq.m up to 100 mCi/sq.m; in separate points it makes up to 0.5 Ci /sq.m and 2.0 Ci/sq.m.

Surface and underground waters (hydrolitosphere) primarily as well as wind transfer (atmosphere) are being considered as main paths of radionuclides transport. Both the territory of RRC KI and adjacent territories in the directions of supposed radionuclides transport are being considered as impact objects.

Specific features of works over the Project are as follows:

– Limited nature of the documentary information about radiation and technologic characteristics of RW burials that can be explained by a distinction of requirements to the account of burials of radioactive materials existed at an initial period of the RRC KI activity – from those, which are in effect now.

– Complexity of description of a structure of radionuclides transfer media in a city, where energetic town-planning have been carrying on, while there is lack of documentary information about an initial period of industrial developing of the territory of RRC KI.

– Complicated infrastructure of objects of impact in the city of Moscow.

In this connection, a considerable volume of calculations, analytical works and expertise devoted to reconstruction of initial data and evaluation of input information for modeling is to be fulfilled when working over the Project together with collecting and systematization of the documentary information.

The works on assessment of radiation and technologic characteristics of burials of RW in the territory of RRC KI will be executed by the experts of RRC which have longstanding experience in treatment of RW, environmental radiation monitoring, and also in calculation and analytical research in the field of nuclear technology and radioactive materials authority.


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