Waste Technology Section

Predisposal Management of Radioactive Waste - Assistance to Member States

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The IAEA publications on predisposal cover a range of topics to support the Member States to manage their predisposal activities. In addition to the existing publications (see below), the Waste Technology Section is preparing several documents.

For further information, please contact the Section Contact Point.

Existing Publications

A list of existing pre-disposal publications is found here

Documents under Preparation

Methodology for Establishing an Inventory of Radioactive Waste and for Assessing the Subsequent Management Needs

The document aims to provide practical guidance for longer-term planning of technical options for waste management activities by use of standardized, comprehensive considerations and methodologies for performing an assessment of local, national and regional waste inventories and forecasts, and the resulting waste management needs.[top]

Economics of Radioactive Waste Management

The document outlines a methodology for estimating the costs of RW management activities, assessing the liability for specific WM strategy, and provides examples of application of this methodology in a typical end-to-end evaluation of life cycle WM costs for alternative strategies.[top]

Organization and Technical Options for Waste Minimization during Operation and Maintenance

The objective of this document is to identify the principles and organizational, maintenance and operating measures that will facilitate the minimization of radioactive waste from nuclear facilities during operation and maintenance. The principles and measures for waste minimization are derived from a review of the lessons learned from the operational experience gained by Member States to date.[top]

Modular Design of Processing and Storage Facilities for Small Volumes of Low and Intermediate Level Radioactive Waste Including Disused Sealed Sources

This work is targeted at Member States generating small volumes of radioactive waste including disused sealed sources from nuclear applications and research. To be published as a design engineering package for modular waste processing and storage facilities, it includes a number of processing and storage module options and provides guidance on selection of the appropriate options for particular applications. It is expected that the user will be able to develop technical specifications with adequate design descriptions for procurement of detailed design and construction services for waste processing and storage.

This work compliments previous work on Reference Design for a Centralized Waste Processing and Storage Facility (TECDOC-776, 1994) and Reference Design for a Centralized Spent Sealed Sources Facility (TECDOC-806, 1995). [top]

Processing of Waste from Innovative Types of Reactors and Fuel Cycles

The objective of this document is to:

  • Describe a systematic methodology for identifying the types of waste expected to be generated from innovative reactor designs and corresponding nuclear fuel cycles with emphasis on potentially problematic wastes (e.g. wastes which are substantially different from those produced by the current generation of reactors and fuel cycles);
  • Provide some examples of waste streams identified by this methodology;
  • Discuss the technology needed for processing of the waste and its final destination and identify problematic waste for which no processing technology is available at present;
  • Identify if there are any potential or known sever challenges or show-stoppers to the further development of various innovative reactors and fuel cycles resulting from new or existing waste types; and
  • Recommend further research and studies.

The document is aimed at supporting Agency work on the systematic evaluation of innovative reactors and fuel cycles (e.g. via the INPRO programme).[top]

Approach to Develop Waste Acceptance Criteria for Low and Intermediate Waste

This document is intended to provide guidance for the development, implementation and application of waste acceptance criteria that comply with the requirements for handling, processing, storage, transportation, and disposal of radioactive waste. The document will in particular assist waste generators, waste conditioners, and waste package producers as well as radioactive waste management organizations, operators of storage facilities and repositories in selecting and addressing the most relevant operational and safety parameters.[top]

Techniques and Technologies for the Reduction of Radioactive Discharges from Nuclear Power Reactors

The document includes a review of the available information on quantities and characteristics of liquid and gaseous effluents released from nuclear power reactors of type BWR, PWR, VVER and PHWR. Abatement technologies, techniques and good practices being implemented at different reactor sites for reducing radioactive discharges are reviewed and guidance is provided on how an existing programme can be evaluated and optimized.

The publication is targeted at nuclear power plant design engineers, operators, effluent managers and regulatory authorities.[top]

Minimization of Liquid and Solid Radioactive Waste Generated at NPP Sites (VVER Reactors)

A five year programme was initiated in 2008 related to benchmarking of liquid and solid waste generated by VVER reactors which is expected to result in improved performance in waste management through cost and volume reduction, enhanced safety at the operator, public and environmental levels, and the establishment of a process of continuous improvement of NPPs with VVER reactors. The main purpose is to establish a database and a system for collecting data and to provide status reports back to the users. Key results, lessons learned and recommendations will be documented in this technical report.

Selection of Technical Solutions for the Management of Radioactive Waste

The objective of this publication is to:

  • Identify and critically review the criteria to be considered while selecting waste management technologies;
  • Summarize, evaluate, rank and compare the different technical solutions; and
  • Offer a systematic approach for selecting the best possible solution.

The document is most effectively used as an initial cutting tool to identify whether any given process and/or technology would best serve the specific waste management strategy in terms of the waste generated (current and forecast inventory), performance requirements, safety, technical complexity, available economic resources, environmental impact considerations, and the end product (output) of the process/technology.

The publication is a technical support document for the IAEA Nuclear Energy Series No. NW-G-1.1 “Policies and Strategies for Radioactive Waste Management”. [top]

Guidance for the Development of Management System Procedures for Small Scale LILW Predisposal Facilities

The objective of this document is to assist waste management organizations in the development of management system procedures for the operation of small scale LILW processing and storage facilities. The targeted practices and/or operations are receipt, pretreatment (sorting, segregation and characterization), treatment, conditioning, transfer (internal relocation) and storage of LILW, including disused sealed radioactive sources (DSRS).[top]

Decay Storage of Radioactive Effluents from Medical and other Institutional Applications and Monitoring during Discharge

The objective of this document is to provide guidance on the administrative and technical issues for the management of low level radioactive effluents intended for discharge to the environment. This may or may not include a decay storage arrangement prior to discharge. This document is aimed at providing helpful advice to the operators of all types of medical and institutional facilities generating liquid radioactive effluents, irrespective of the frequency of generation and consistent with the volumes specified in the scope.[top]

New Predisposal Handbooks

The IAEA is preparing a series of comprehensive state-of-the-art technical handbooks that cover the full range of predisposal waste management steps by consolidating, restructuring and updating information in a large number of existing Agency publications in this area.

The new handbooks will be published as Nuclear Energy Series (NES) Technical Reports. The following is a list of handbooks that are proposed to be prepared over the next few years:

  1. Characterization, categorization and monitoring of radioactive waste, waste forms and waste packages (ongoing)
  2. Pre-treatment of low and intermediate level liquid and solid waste
  3. Treatment of low and intermediate level liquid waste (ongoing)
  4. Treatment of low and intermediate level solid waste
  5. Management of gaseous waste (ongoing)
  6. Conditioning of low and intermediate level liquid, solidified and solid waste including DSRS
  7. Processing of high level waste and spent nuclear fuel declared as waste (ongoing)
  8. Storage of radioactive waste and conditioned waste packages (ongoing)

These handbooks are being developed with similar table of content to assist professionals in Member States involved in field implementation of predisposal facilities by providing information on selection of technical options, design and operation in a structured way.

The handbooks also collect lessons learned and operating experiences.

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