Calleja Rubio, Jose Antonio and Gutierrez Martin, Fernando and Colón Hernández, Cristobal
¿Impact from road transport of radioactive wastes in Spain?.
In: "12th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology", 08/10/2011 - 10/09/2011, Rhodes island, Grecia.
Transports of radioactive wastes in Spain are becoming issues of renewed interest, due to the increased mobility of these materials which can be expected after the building and operation of the planned central repository for this country in a near future. Such types of residues will be mainly of the medium and high activity classes and have raised concerns on the safety of the operations, the radiological protection of the individuals, the compliance with the legal regulations and their environmental consequences of all kind. In this study, relevant information for the assessment of radiological risk of road transport were taken into account, as the sources and destination of the radioactive transports, the amount of traveling to be done, the preferred routes and populations affected, the characterization of the residues and containers, their corresponding testing, etc. These data were supplied by different organizations fully related with these activities, like the nuclear power stations, the companies in charge of radioactive transports, the enterprises for inspection and control of the activities, etc., as well as the government institutions which are responsible for the selection and location of the storage facility and other decisions on the nuclear policies of the country. Thus, we have developed a program for computing the data in such a form that by entering the radiation levels at one meter of the transport loads and by choosing a particular displacement, the computer application is capable to calculate the corresponding radiological effects, like the global estimated impact, its relevance to the population in general or on those people living and driving near the main road routes, the doses received by the most exposed individuals (e.g. the workers for loading or driving the vehicle), or the probability of detrimental on the human health. The results of this work could be of help for a better understanding and management of these activities and their related impacts; at the same time that the generated reports of the computer application are considered of particular interest as innovative and complementary information to the current legal documentation, which is basically required for transporting radioactive wastes in the country, according with the international safety rules (like IAEA and ADR).Though main studies are still in progress, as the definite location for the Spanish storage facility has not been decided yet, preliminary results with the existing transports of residues of medium activity indicate that the radiological impact is very low in conventional operations. Nevertheless, the management of these transports is complex and laborious, making it convenient to progress further in the analysis and quantification of this kind of events, which constitutes one of the main objectives of the present study for the radioactive road mobility in Spain.