Environmental impact assessment of the territories in the vicinity of commissioning regional radioactive waste management facility
The Regional center of conditioning and long-term storage of radioactive waste is being constructed in Primorsky Krai, where radioactive waste (RW) management сoncerns have been especially acute. The project involves intensification of activities related to RW management, as well as to building the new technology block for RW reprocessing, storage facility and boiler house. The study was aimed to perform environmental impact assessment of the territories in the vicinity of the Regional center of conditioning and long-term storage of radioactive waste prior to the facility commissioning. Radiation situation was assessed by radiometric and spectrometric methods; the levels of heavy metals were evaluated by atomic absorption spectrometry. Heavy metal (lead, nickel, copper, etc.) and arsenic levels exceeding or, in certain cases, similar to maximum permissible concentration (MPC) were found in soil and ground. Radiation situation is characterized by background levels of artificial radionuclides 137Cs and 90Sr in environmental media. Quality of water in wells and boreholes was largely compliant with the requirements established for groundwater used in decentralized water supply systems, with the exception of boreholes, in which the arsenic levels exceeding MPC were detected. The average annual public dose was 0.046 mSv excluding natural regional background radiation, which was below the dose limit. Carcinogenic health risks induced by radiation and chemical factors was 4×10–6 and 6×10–6 respectively. The obtained results form the basis for setting reference values of environmental contamination prior to the Regional center of conditioning and long-term storage of radioactive waste commissioning and can be used for regulatory supervision during the facility operation.