How we ensure repository safety

The release of radioactive substances into the surrounding area
is prevented by a system of barriers

The release of radioactive substances from the repository is prevented by a system of barriers that complement but are independent of each other. In other words, even if one of the barriers fails, others are in place that prevent the escape of radionuclides. The choice and combination of such barriers depends on a number of criteria.

We work with all the information at our disposal

Firstly, we consider information on the repository itself, especially:

  • information on the design of the repository (surface concrete chambers, underground mine workings);
  • data on local climatic conditions and the hydrological and hydrogeological conditions of the surrounding area;
  • the planned closure method.

The character of the waste itself is equally important – its origin, activity, radionuclide composition and method in which it was processed.

In practice, this means that the specific form of the packaging, the amount and type of the radionuclides in the disposed of waste, the weight of the waste containers and other criteria may differ in each of the repositories. The conditions for each repository are determined on an individual basis and monitored by the State Office for Nuclear Safety.

We care about the repository and the surrounding environment

The safe operation of nuclear waste repositories is verified several times per year by inspectors from the State Office for Nuclear Safety and, in the case of the Richard and Bratrství repositories, inspectors from the relevant mining authority. Samples of water from both the mine complexes and the surrounding environment are taken, as well as from the air in the repository itself. Everyone who enters the repository must be equipped with a personal dosimeter for the monitoring of the received radiation dose. The limits and conditions for the safe operation of the repositories are approved and updated by the State Office for Nuclear Safety. The radionuclides and their quantities to be monitored as well as the sampling rates and locations are set separately for each repository. Each repository has its own physical protection system which is operated in cooperation with the police authorities.