Russia's national operator for radioactive waste management (NO RAO) aims to build by 2024 an underground research laboratory tasked with studying the possibility of final waste disposal of high-level radioactive waste in the Nizhnekansky Granite Massif in Krasnoyarsk.
The country originally focused site selection on the Kola Peninsula. In 2003 Krasnokamensk in the Chita region 7000 km east of Moscow was suggested as the site for a major used fuel repository. Then in 2008 the Nizhnekansky Rock Mass in Krasnoyarsk Territory was put forward as a site for a national deep geological repository.
Rosatom has said that phase one of the facility is to be designed to hold 20,000 tonnes of intermediate- and high-level wastes, which will be retrievable. Public hearings on the Nizhnekansky granite were held in July 2012. The Nizhnekansky Granite Massif was identified in the November 2013 Regional Energy Planning Scheme as a planned repository site.
NO RAO announced the 2024 target date for the laboratory on 15 October, following a board meeting of the Krasnoyarsk Citizens' Assembly.
Nikolai Lobanov, NO RAO's head of capital construction, stressed that the establishment of an underground laboratory in the Yeniseysky area for these wastes would only follow completion of a research program.