An Introduction to Nuclear Waste Immobilisation


  • Michael Ojovan, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Sheffield, UK
  • William Lee, Department of Materials, Imperial College London, UK

Drawing on the authors’ extensive experience in the processing and disposal of waste, An Introduction to Nuclear Waste Immobilisation, Second Edition examines the gamut of nuclear waste issues from the natural level of radionuclides in the environment to geological disposal of waste-forms and their long-term behavior. It covers all-important aspects of processing and immobilization, including nuclear decay, regulations, new technologies and methods. Significant focus is given to the analysis of the various matrices used, especially cement and glass, with further discussion of other matrices such as bitumen. The final chapter concentrates on the performance assessment of immobilizing materials and safety of disposal, providing a full range of the resources needed to understand and correctly immobilize nuclear waste.
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Materials, environmental and energy scientists and researchers. Anyone researching or developing materials for nuclear waste immobilization.


Book information

  • Published: December 2013
  • Imprint: ELSEVIER
  • ISBN: 978-0-08-099392-8


"The second edition of this book is a great opportunity to learn about the state-of-the-art of radioactive waste management, both from a scientific and a technical perspective. The book is made up of 21 short, clear, nicely-illustrated chapters covering most aspects of the problem…authors are well-known scientists with broad international experience…", March 6, 2014

From first edition:
"The book is intended as an introductory text for postgraduate students and researchers in the field. In addition, it serves as an excellent source of knowledge for undergraduates (in physics, chemistry, geology, materials etc.) who require general information on nuclear waste and its immobilisation."--Dr. John Fernie, MATERIALS WORLD, May 2007

Table of Contents

1. Introduction to immobilisation
1.1 Introduction1.2 The importance of waste 1.3 Radioactive waste1.4 Recycling1.5 Waste minimisation 1.6 Immobilisation1.7 Time frames1.8 Bibliography
2. Nuclear decay
2.1. Nuclear decay2.2. Decay law2.3. Radioactive equilibrium 2.4. Activity2.5. Alpha decay 2.6. Beta decay 2.7. Gamma decay 2.8. Spontaneous fission 2.9. Radionuclide characteristics 2.10. Bibliography
3. Contaminants and hazards
3.1. Elemental abundance3.2. Migration and redistribution 3.3. Hazard potential 3.4. Relative hazard 3.5. Real hazard concept 3.6. Form factors that diminish hazard 3.7. Bibliography
4. Heavy metals
4.1. Metallic contaminants4.2. Biogeochemical cycle4.3. Heavy metals4.4. Heavy metals in living species4.5. Lead4.6. Mercury4.7. Cadmium 4.8. Arsenic4.9. Bibliography
5. Naturally occurring radionuclides
5.1. NORM and TENORM5.2. Primordial radionuclides 5.3. Cosmogenic radionuclides 5.4. Natural radionuclides in igneous rocks5.5. Natural radionuclides in sedimentary rocks and soils 5.6. Natural radionuclides in sea water5.7. Radon emissions5.8. Natural radionuclides in the human body 5.9. Bibliography
6. Background radiation
6.1. Radiation is natural6.2. Dose units6.3. Biological consequences of irradiation 6.4. Background radiation6.5. Bibliography
7. Nuclear waste regulations
7.1. Regulatory organisations 7.2. Protection philosophies 7.3. Regulation of radioactive materials and sources 7.4. Exemption criteria and levels7.5. Clearance of materials from regulatory control7.6. Double standards 7.7. Dose limits 7.8. Control of radiation hazards7.9. Bibliography
8. Principles of nuclear waste management
8.1. International consensus8.2. Objective of radioactive waste management 8.3. Fundamental principles8.4. Comments on the fundamental principles 8.5. Ethical principles8.6. Joint convention 8.7. Bibliography
9. Sources and characteristics of nuclear waste
9.1. Key waste characteristics 9.2. Classification schemes9.3. Examples of waste classification9.4. Sources of waste9.5. Front end and operational NFC waste 9.6. Back end Open NFC waste9.7. Back end Closed NFC waste 9.8. Back end NFC decommissioning waste 9.9. Non-NFC wastes9.10. Accidental wastes 9.11. Bibliography
10. Short-lived waste radionuclides
10.1. Introduction10.2. Tritium10.3. Cobalt-60 10.4. Strontium-90 10.5. Caesium-137 10.6. Bibliography
11. Long-lived waste radionuclides
11.1. Introduction11.2. Carbon-1411.3. Technetium-99 11.4. Iodine-12911.5. Plutonium 11.6. Neptunium-23711.7. Criticality11.8. Bibliography
12. Management and characterisation of radioactive waste
12.1. Management roadmaps12.2. Predisposal12.3. Disposal12.4. Characterisation 12.5. Bibliography
13. Pre-treatment of radioactive wastes
13.1. Pre-treatment definition13.2. Collection and segregation13.3. Adjustment 13.4. Size reduction 13.5. Packaging13.6. Decontamination13.7. Bibliography
14. Treatment of radioactive wastes
14.1. Treatment objectives14.2. Treatment of aqueous waste14.3. Treatment of organic liquid wastes 14.4. Treatment of solid wastes14.5. Treatment of gaseous and airborne effluents14.6. Partitioning and transmutation14.7. Bibliography
15. Immobilisation of radioactive wastes in cement
15.1. Waste immobilisation15.2. Wasteform leaching behaviour 15.3. Immobilisation techniques15.4. Immobilisation in hydraulic cements 15.5. Hydraulic cements15.6. Cement hydration 15.7. Hydrated cement composition15.8. Cementation of radioactive wastes 15.9. Modified and composite cement systems 15.10. Cementation technology15.11. Acceptance criteria15.12. Bibliography
16. Immobilisation of radioactive wastes in bitumen
16.1. Bituminisation16.2. Composition and properties of bitumen 16.3. Bituminous materials for waste immobilisation 16.4. Bituminisation technique16.5. Acceptance criteria16.6. Bitumen versus cement 16.7. Bibliography
17. Immobilisation of radioactive wastes in glass
17.1. Vitrification17.2. Immobilisation mechanisms 17.3. Retention of radionuclides 17.4. Nuclear waste glasses17.5. Nuclear waste glass compositions17.6. Borosilicate glasses 17.7. Role of boron oxide17.8. Role of intermediates and modifiers17.9. Difficult elements17.10. Phosphate glasses17.11. Glass composites 17.12. Vitrification processes 17.13. Cold crucible melters 17.14. Vitrification technology17.15. Calcination17.16. Radionuclide volatility 17.18. Acceptance criteria17.19. Bibliography
18. New immobilising hosts and technologies
18.1. New approaches18.2. Crystalline wasteforms 18.3. Polyphase crystalline wasteforms: Synroc 18.4. Polyphase crystalline waste forms: composites 18.5. New technological approaches18.6. Metal matrix immobilisation18.7. Bibliography
19. Nuclear waste disposal
19.1. Disposal/Storage concepts19.2. Retention times19.3. Multibarrier concept19.4. Disposal/Storage options19.5. Role of the EBS19.6. Importance of geology19.7. Transport of radionuclides 19.8. Disposal/Storage experience 19.9. Acceptance criteria19.10. Bibliography
20. Performance assessment
20.1. Safety and performance assessments20.2. Safety requirements20.3. Safety case content20.4. Cement performance20.5. Bitumen performance 20.6. Glass performance20.7. Radiation effects20.8. Research laboratories20.9. Conclusion20.10. Bibliography