Waste Technology Section

Predisposal Management of Radioactive Waste - Assistance to Member States

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Selected Coordinated Research Projects before 2010

New Developments and Improvements in Processing of ‘Problematic’ Radioactive Waste Streams

Processing options for a broad spectrum of problematic waste streams were addressed in this CRP, ranging from simple, one component aqueous solutions originating from a research laboratory to very complex aqueous concentrates of waste resulting from reprocessing activities or reactor operation. These challenging wastes included waste contaminated by tritium, wastes containing transuranic elements, and solid health care waste. Probably the most important observation – and conclusion – that can be made on the basis of the studies performed is multistage processes, aimed at breaking down the issues associated with ‘problematic’ waste into ‘standard’ issues in the initial stages of the sequence, generally seem to offer the most versatile and effective solutions to the treatment of ‘problematic’ wastes. This approach enables the processing of such wastes, after a suitable waste-specific pre-treatment, by standard treatment technologies.

This CRP was started in 2003 and completed in 2007. It involved 15 organizations from 13 Member States. The results were published as an IAEA-TECDOC-1579 in 2007.

Spent Fuel and High Level Waste: Chemical Durability and Performance Assessment under Simulated Repository Conditions

The objective of this CRP (completed in 2004) was to contribute to the development of the scientific and technical basis for geological disposal to support safety and performance assessments. Experiemental work carried out under the CRP focussed on the formulation and analysis of samples of real and simulated HLW and irradiated fuel, especially radionuclide leaching behaviour under conditions representative of a repository environment. Modelling studies pertinent to the development of repository assessment methodologies also formed part of the work program. Types of HLW matrices investigated included spent fuel, glasses and ceramics. The range of materials, waste forms and anticipated repository conditions being considered in the programmes of the participants made the comparison of results between investigators challenging.

The results of this CRP were published as an IAEA-TECDOC-1563 in 2007.


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