Storage building for radioactive waste

Sweco Belgium is taking care of the project management, is responsible for the complete technical design and is supervising the realization of the new 165X (RSC) Reception and Storage Centre and the special 167x storage building on the Belgoprocess site in Dessel, commissioned by NIRAS. Both buildings are equipped with the most advanced techniques and will meet the highest requirements in terms of safety.




2015 - 2020

Total area
8000 m²

Montair Process Technology

165X reception and storage centre
Belgoprocess, the industrial subsidiary of NIRAS, uses a wide range of processing methods to convert radioactive waste into a stable product. Pending this processing, the waste is sorted, stored and checked in special buildings, which will also soon include the new 165X RSC building, equipped with the most advanced techniques. The building will conform to the latest safety and security standards. For example there are strict standards for fire safety and the building will be able to withstand extreme conditions such as tornadoes or an earthquake. The risk of attacks will also be taken into account.

167X storage building for drums with gel formation
In 2013, gel formation was found in a part of the drums with processed low-level radioactive waste from the Doel nuclear power plant. The new 167X building is specifically designed to run controls and inspections of these drums in the most efficient way. The building is coming next to the present storage building where most of the drums with potential gel formation currently are. Both buildings are connected with an airlock, so that the drums only have to be moved over a short distance, without the need for external transport. Remote-controlled vehicles will put the drums horizontally in racks. Cameras follow the positioning and also record the inspections. The design also takes into account the decontamination and dismantling after cessation of operation.

Sweco Belgium’s assignment
The design of these storage buildings requires an interdisciplinary team with numerous niche experts. Within the complex regulations, the design team is organizing an extensive programme of requirements in a clear plan with a view to functionality and safety.

The stability studies are being done according to the latest FANC guidelines (Federal Agency for Nuclear Control) and contain detailed calculations concerning earthquakes, tornadoes, floods and explosions.

The air conditioning of the project is being done within the standards for nuclear ventilation. Because of the very large flow rates enormous air ducts are the result, which have a major impact on the concrete structure on which stringent requirements have already been placed. The interaction between the two disciplines is done in parallel with the pursuit of sustainable solutions to these challenges.

This sustainability ambition is further drawn into the automation of HVAC design. The building management system is seen as very extensive; not only the air conditioning but also the control of the handling technology, access control and also countless safety aspects are managed centrally.


  • Flow & process architecture
  • Building engineering
  • Stability
  • Air conditioning
  • Ventilation
  • Electricity & automation
  • Data & telecoms
  • Sanitary & other piping
  • Surrounding building infrastructure
  • Construction management


  • Total assignment
  • Project management
  • Risk Management
  • Quality management
  • Budget control
  • Coordination
  • Design & engineering
  • Detailed design
  • Modelling
  • Building application
  • Visualization
  • Soil investigation
  • Permanent site supervision
  • Provisional and final delivery