India's first Nuclear-waste repository on anvil

Sunday, 06 May 2012 08:20 Lathish PV
NuclearHaving embarked on an ambitious expansion of its atomic energy programme, India will build an underground repository about 1km below land surface for storing nuclear waste and is setting up a laboratory to develop the required technology. The research laboratory will also be underground, operating in an abandoned mining site, where shafts and chambers provide the setting for a complex analysis of factors that affect storage of nuclear waste generated by atomic power plants.

At present, India has the capacity to store nuclear waste for 30 years by which time it will lose some radioactivity , but underground disposal is needed in view of plans to add 5,330mw in the 12Plan and for atomic power to contribute 25% of power production by 2050. Nuclear power production has picked up with the generation target of 32,000 million units being met in March - the first time in the last five years.

"The proposed laboratory will be of a generic nature. Such laboratories are used for development of methodology and technology related to emplacement of solidified waste in the repository. Experiments will form the basis of the underground geological repository for storing high level nuclear waste," the department of atomic energy said replying to a Parliament question.

A Department of Atomic Energy source said the laboratory will research parameters for conductivity, fissures and permeability that impact containment of radiation. The waste will be disposed "at a depth of 800-1 ,000 meters to isolate radioactivity," the government said.

Source- ET