Radioactive Waste Management Division (RWMD)

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Last Updated: August 15, 2012
Other Name: N/A
Location: Damascus
Subordinate To: Atomic Energy Commission of Syria (AECS)
Size: Unknown
Facility Status: Operational

The AECS established the Radioactive Waste Management Division (RWMD) to oversee the collection, treatment, and storage of naturally occurring radioactive waste from Syria's mining, oil, and natural gas sectors. [1]

In 2001, RWMD staff member Mohammed Ghafar reported to an IAEA-sponsored conference that the AECS was planning construction of a waste processing facility. Ghafar said that the organization was undertaking these activities to manage the waste resulting from the production and use of radioisotopes. [2] Syria subsequently completed the Radioactive Waste Management Facility in September 2007. [3]

In 2010, as part of the IAEA's ongoing investigation into the activities related to the alleged nuclear reactor at Al-Kibar, the Agency requested information on possible undeclared nuclear materials under the control of the AECS Waste Management Department. [4] Although Syria initially responded that its declarations were complete, Syrian officials later admitted the existence of nuclear materials that had not been included in the country's declared inventory to the IAEA. [5] On 19 April 2011, IAEA inspectors confirmed the existence of this previously undeclared waste material during a physical inventory verification at the SRR-1 Miniature Neutron Source Reactor (MNSR). [6]

Sources:
[1] Wyn Q. Bowen, and Joanna Kidd, "The Nuclear Capabilities and Ambitions of Iran's Neighbors," in Getting Ready for a Nuclear-Ready Iran, eds. Henry Sokolski and Patrick Clawson (Carlisle: The Strategic Studies Institute Publications Office, 2005), p. 74.
[2] Mohammad Ghafar, "Radioactive waste management facility in Syria," International Conference on Management of Radioactive Waste from Non-Power Applications, IAEA Report No. IAEA-CN-87/79, 1 July 2001, www.etde.org.
[3] IAEA-TC Project SYR/4/008, "Radioactive Waste Management Facility," Country: Syrian Arab Republic, www-tc.iaea.org.
[4] IAEA, "Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Syrian Arab Republic," Report by the Director General to the Board of Governors, GOV/2010/63, 23 November 2010, www.iaea.org.
[5] IAEA, "Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Syrian Arab Republic," Report by the Director General to the Board of Governors, GOV/2010/63, 23 November 2010, www.iaea.org.
[6] IAEA, "Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Syrian Arab Republic," Report by the Director General to the Board of Governors, GOV/2011/30, 24 May 2011, www.iaea.org.

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