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Monitoring

All activities related to monitoring of the repository are defined in the Richard repository monitoring programme, which has been approved by the SÚJB. According to the programme mine water, water from wells and hydrogeological boreholes in the vicinity of the repository and surface water from the river Elbe are subjected to periodic sampling. The samples are analysed by an accredited laboratory for the presence (volume activity) of selected radionuclides. In 2016, all the measurements taken were found to be around the minimum detection limit of the measuring equipment, thus demonstrating that there is no leakage of radionuclides from the stored waste.

For the purpose of monitoring the impact of the repository on its surroundings, thermo-luminescent dosimeters, which measure the dose rate of gamma radiation, have been positioned on the limits of the facility. The results are assessed by the National Radiation Protection Institute. In 2016, all the measured values have fallen within normal background radiation limits.

The monitoring of the occupational exposure of workers at the repository is conducted by means of a monthly evaluation of recordings from a film badge dosimeter  provided to each worker and an annual assessment employing a whole-body computer. The total dose of each worker in the repository also includes exposure to radon which, to a certain extent, is present in the air in the repository. The measurement of the radon concentration in the air is performed on a continuous basis and the entry of persons into the repository’s underground areas is possible only following mine ventilation and when the measured values do not exceed set limits. The total dose for workers is evaluated from their activities at all repositories administered by SÚRAO. In 2016, there were no readings which exceeded the legal limits for the occupational exposure of workers and, over the long term, the tendency is towards readings of mere tenths of these limits.

The assessment of dose received is conducted not only for the staff of the facility but for all persons who enter the repository. The dose is determined based on the duration of stay in the underground areas of the repository, the concentration of radon in the underground atmosphere, and an evaluation of measurements taken by the electronic dosimeter with which all visitors are provided upon entering the facility. Records of the doses received by such individuals are archived and the doses themselves are well below the legal limits.