Nuclear Liabilities Management


Overview of Pelstore Facility (With waste packages)

Since early 1900s, the research and development in nuclear science and technology have led to a wide variety of useful applications in medicine, industry, research and the generation of electricity.

As with any production environment, this practices produce waste that must be managed to ensure the protection of human health and the environment now and in the future, without placing excessive financial burdens on current and future generations.

NLM, the Nuclear Liability Management department of Operations Division in Necsa, performs its tasks in accordance with the requirements of the South African National and Strategy on radioactive waste management.

While many people become anxious at the thought of nuclear establishment and the possible effects of their health and that of their descendants, the risk must be seen in perspective. Nuclear Technology is in fact like any other technology and needs to be managed with equal care and precaution.

NLM encourages the public in general and the local Pelindaba and Vaalputs communities in particular to participate actively in waste management process.

Community forums are convened on a regular basis to keep stakeholders informed of developments, address concerns and improve the broad understanding of waste management.

Forum dates and venues are advertised in the local press and the stakeholders can request direct notification by supplying comprehensive contact information to NLM/Necsa communication department.

What is the role of NLM in the management of waste?

NLM’s primary focus is to reduce the amount of waste that needs to be cared for in the long term. This is achieved according to the following:

  1. Pre-treatment: Consist of collection, segregation, chemical adjustment and decontamination.
  2. Treatment:  Includes Volume Reduction, removal of radioactivity and change of composition. E.g melting, evaporation, filtration etc.
  3. Conditioning: Involves immobilisation of radioactive waste and the placing of the waste into durable containers, suitable for transport, storage and/or disposal.
  4. Disposal: Is the final step in radioactive waste management process. Because different types of waste have different levels of radioactivity, they are disposed off in different ways.

NLM comprises the following departments

  • Decommissioning Services
  • Decontamination Services
  • Predisposal Operations (Waste Management)
  • Vaalputs (Disposal facility)
  • Radwaste Technology

Services that are rendered include

  • Management of radioactive waste (Treatment, conditioning, characterisation and disposal)
  • Management of spent sealed radioactive sources (Treatment, conditioning, characterisation and disposal)
  • Repatriation of South African manufactures Disused Sealed Radioactive Sources (DSRS)
  • Dismantling of Disused Sealed Radioactive Sources (DSRS) Category 1-5
  • Conditioning of Category 1-2 Spent High Active Radioactive Sources(SHARS) using a Mobile Hot Cell Technology
  • Sitting and site characterisation and design of new nuclear facilities
  • Decommissioning and Decontamination (D&D) of redundant/unused nuclear facilities
  • Decontamination Services
  • Site remediation
  • Development of Waste management Strategies, Plans and Methodologies
  • Radiological Consultancy services
  • Nuclear Liability Assessment

Loading and preparation of shipment on Necsa site for disposal Vaalputs (Waste Disposal Site)

Truck with loaded waste packages to be disposed of at Vaalputs (Waste Disposal Site)

Necsa Mobile Hot Cell (MHC)

Equipments that are used to condition Disused Radioactive Sources

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