Waste Technology Section
Predisposal Management of Radioactive Waste - Assistance to Member States
Coordinated Research Projects (CRP)
While the Agency does not conduct any in-house R&D activities, its Coordinated Research Projects (CRPs) foster R&D in Member States on predisposal topics of mutual interest and importance. The CRPs are an effective mechanism for both developed and developing Member States to exchange technical information and data on the CRP topic. The results of CRPs are published as Agency technical documents.
For further information on CRPs related to predisposal management of radioactive waste, please contact the Section Contact Point.
Performance and Behaviour of Cementitious Materials in Long Term Storage and Disposal of Radioactive Waste
This CRP was to investigate the behaviour and performance of cementitious materials used for an overall waste conditioning system based on the use of cement, including waste packages, waste-form and backfill material, as well as interaction and interdependencies of these individual elements during long term storage and disposal, and understand the processes that can result in the degradation of their physical and chemical properties. The project started in 2007 involving 26 research organizations from 21 Member States and was completed in 2010.
A document summarizing the results of this CRP has been published (IAEA TECDOC 1701).
Treatment of Irradiated Graphite to Meet Waste Acceptance Criteria for Disposal
Radioactive graphite constitutes a major waste stream which arises during the decommissioning of certain types of nuclear installations. Worldwide, a total of around 260 000 tonnes of radioactive graphite, comprising graphite moderators and reflectors, will require management solutions in the coming years.The objective of this CRP is to investigate the treatment of irradiated graphite to facilitate exchange of information and technological experiences on new developments in the area, to identify innovative technologies to be applied for conformity with modern safety and economic requirements. The results may be of assistance in Member States’ graphite-disposal strategies, complementary to the investigations on CARBOWASTE.
The first RCM was held in Vienna in 2011. The second RCM was held in Vienna in 2012. The third and final RCM took place in Vienna in December 2013. A document summarising the result of this CRP is under publication
Processing Technologies for High Level Waste, Formulation of Matrices and Characterization of Waste Forms
The proposed CRP will address problems in the area of high level waste immobilization and is of interest to countries that have either adopted the closed fuel cycle or could decide to do so in future. It will contribute to the solution of existing and anticipated future problems related to processing techniques, properties of matrices, and characterization of waste forms.
The CRP objectives are to encourage further research and development as well as exchange of information amongst Member States on:
(i) Improved processing techniques to ensure more effective performance of existing plants and to address future needs, arising from innovative fuel cycles and flow sheets;
(ii) Formulation of vitreous and ceramic matrices for immobilization of high level waste to achieve higher waste incorporation, better processing features, enhanced durability, and to address new waste compositions; and
(iii) Characterization of waste forms.
The first RCM was held in May 2013 in St. Petersburg in cooperation with V.G. Khlopin Radium Institute. The second RCM is planned to be held in France in October 2014 in cooperation with CEA(Marcoule)
Go to archives of selected, noteworthy CRPs.