Nuclear waste storage, barrels with waste – illustrative photo.
Prague – The Administration of Radioactive Waste Repositories (SÚRAO) submitted requests to determine the exploration area in the municipalities of Horka and Hrádek in Vysočín, Janoch near Temelín in South Bohemia and Březový potok in Klatovská. If the Ministry of the Environment approves the requests, the administration will begin a geological survey for the possible future location of a deep radioactive waste repository. According to current plans, the most suitable location for the repository should be decided by 2028. SÚRAO spokeswoman Martina Bílá told ČTK. Municipalities have been resisting deep storage for a long time.
“Submitting an application to determine the exploration area is an important step on the way to the construction of a deep repository for radioactive waste in the Czech Republic. We also meet the conditions of the European taxonomy so that the core can be considered a clean source of electricity,” said SÚRAO director Lukáš Vondrovic.
He pointed out that, according to the law, financial contributions are also associated with the determination of exploration areas. “Each municipality included in the survey area will receive a contribution in the amount of CZK 600,000 per year. In addition, a contribution in the amount of CZK 0.40 per year for each square meter of the cadastral territory of the municipality on which the survey area is determined, for the entire period of determination of the survey area. Contributions municipalities can use according to their decision,” the head of the administration pointed out.
According to the SÚRAO, the aim of the survey will be to obtain more detailed information on the geological composition and development of the rock environment of the considered locations, so that it is possible to select the final variant for the location of the deep repository of radioactive waste. Until now, the administration has knowledge of the territories only from the surface, so now it wants to expand the data with key information, especially from, for example, deep boreholes, which will make it possible to explore the rock massif. “It is necessary to know everything about the rock itself, its petrographic and mineralogical composition. To know how solid the rock is, if it is broken somewhere, how water flows in it and what its exact composition is. And above all, how depth affects all these matters and parameters ,” explained Marek Vencl, head of the geology department.
In addition to the geological survey, the administration also plans biological monitoring in selected locations, which should begin in March.
According to SÚRAO, the research areas will have a much larger area than the subsequent surface or underground area of the deep repository. The underground part is to be spread over an area of two to three square kilometers. According to the prepared studies, the size of the surface area ranges from 15 to 20 hectares. However, it will depend on the conditions in the locality.
According to management plans, deep storage is to be the final solution to the life cycle of radioactive waste. Half a kilometer underground, thousands of tons of spent fuel from nuclear power plants are to be permanently stored in the repository. Originally it was supposed to be built by 2065, there is talk of speeding up construction due to the temporary inclusion of the core in the EU among green investments. The condition is that countries relying on nuclear energy must have deep repositories from 2050. In addition to the Czech Republic, other countries are also preparing their repositories. In January, the government approved the draft law on deep repository procedures. Regulates the rights and deadlines of the affected municipalities in individual proceedings.