Waste Management

Belgium’s Radioactive Waste Agency Submits Application For Dessel Facility

By David Dalton
5 February 2019

Belgium’s Radioactive Waste Agency Submits Application For Dessel Facility
A computer-generated image of the planned facility at Dessel. Photo courtesy Ondraf/Niras

5 Feb (NucNet): Belgium’s National Agency for Radioactive Waste and Fissile Materials (Ondraf/Niras) today filed an application for the construction of a facility for the final disposal of low- and medium-activity nuclear waste.

The application, filed with nuclear regulator Fanc, is for a facility at Dessel in northeastern Belgium. The agency first filed the application in 2013, but Fanc asked for a number of clarifications and additions.

The most important part of the licence application is the safety file. This document, more than 20,000 pages, describes all technical and scientific arguments that demonstrate the safety of the installation.

The waste to be disposed at the facility will include operational waste from nuclear power plants such as filters and waste associated with water purification, waste associated with the dismantling of nuclear facilities, protective clothing and maintenance equipment.

If Fanc considers the application complete, it will be submitted to the Scientific Council on Ionising Radiation, an independent body whose members have nuclear expertise or expertise in radiation protection.

The facility will also need an environmental permit from the Flemish government.

According to Ondraf/Niras, the construction permit could be issued in the mid-2020 and the first waste stored at the facility in 2024.

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