Nuclear Decommissioning, Waste Management, and Environmental Site Remediation


  • Colin Bayliss, United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), Director of Major Projects
  • Kevin Langley, United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority - UKAEA

Decommissioning nuclear facilities is a relatively new field, which has developed rapidly in the last ten years. It involves materials that may be highly radioactive and therefore require sophisticated methods of containment and remote handling. The wastes arising from decommissioning are hazardous and have to be stored or disposed of safely in order to protect the environment and future generations. Nuclear decommissioning work must be carried out to the highest possible standards to protect workers, the general public and the environment. This book describes the techniques used for dismantling redundant nuclear facilities, the safe storage of radioactive wastes and the restoration of nuclear licensed sites.
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Industry: environmental engineers, generally and nuclear clean-up engineers and managers, specificallyAdditional interested areas:Academic: as a supplementary text for graduate students in nuclear engineering. Course titles could include: Nuclear Radioactive Waste Management and DecommissioningPhysics and Technology of Nuclear Reactors


Book information

  • Published: September 2003
  • ISBN: 978-0-7506-7744-8

Table of Contents

About the authors List of Contributors Preface1 Setting the Scene1.1 Introduction1.2 The Evolution of the Current Organisational Arrangements in the UK1.3 A European Perspective on Nuclear Power Generation1.4 An International Perspective on Radioactive Waste Management1.4.1 Introduction1.4.2 General Nuclear Waste Classifications1.4.3 Nuclear Waste Disposal Concepts1.4.4 Management and Funding Arrangements1.4.5 Multinational Radioactive Waste Facilities1.5 International Regulation & Collaboration1.5.1 The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)1.5.2 The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP)1.5.3 The OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (OECD NEA)1.5.4 The European Commission1.6 The Kyoto Protocol and OSPAR (Oslo Paris Convention)1.6.1 The Kyoto Protocol1.6.2 OSPAR (Oslo/Paris) Convention1.7 Waste Production1.8 Acronyms and Abbreviations2 Ionising Radiation and the Protection of Man2.1 Introduction2.2 Historical Background2.3 Basic Concepts and Units2.4 Biological Aspects of Radiological Protection2.5 Conceptual Framework for Radiation Protection2.6 The Control of Occupational Exposure2.7 The Control of Medical Exposure2.8 The Control of Public Exposure2.9 Potential Exposures2.10 Intervention2.11 Practical Advice on Radiation Protection Implementation2.12 The Role of NRPB2.13 Practical Advice on Principles for Solid Radioactive Waste Disposal2.14 Exemption of Sources from Regulatory Controls2.15 Chronic Exposures3 Decommissioning - Introduction and Overview3.1 Definition and Scope3.2 The Stages of Decommissioning3.3 Drivers for Determining Decommissioning Plans and Programmes3.4 Risk verses Hazard3.5 Contrasting Reactor Decommissioning With Other Facilities3.6 Availability of Guidance and Reference Information4 Typical Government Policy on Decommissioning 4.1 Introduction4.2 How and Why is Government Involved?4.2.1 Historical4.2.2 Safety4.2.3 Regulatory Policy4.2.4 Security4.2.5 Decommissioning and Waste Management4.2.6 National Economic Benefits4.2.7 The Consequences of Failure4.3 Some of the Key Drivers for Government4.3.1 The Costs Involved4.3.2 National and International Responsibilities4.3.3 Business Potential4.4 Current Developments4.4.1 Structural Issues4.4.2 Skills Issues4.4.3 Regulatory Issues4.4.4 Waste Issues 4.5 Decommissioning Research Framework Programmes of the European Community4.6 The Challenges Ahead5 The Transition From Operations to Decommissioning5.1 Introduction5.2 Preparing for the Transition5.3 Human Resource Issues5.4 Information Requirements5.5 Implementation Issues5.6 Costs of Transition Activities6 Reactor Decommissioning - The Safestore Concept6.1 Introduction6.2 Decommissioning and Radioactivity6.2.1 Decommissioning Strategy and Option Selection6.2.2 Activation Inventory6.2.3 Worker Dose Modelling6.2.4 Radioactive Waste Minimisation Modelling6.2.5 Arguments Against Deferral6.3 Decommissioning Activities6.4 Paying for Decommissioning7 Decommissioning PIE and Other Facilities7.1 Introduction7.2 Key Issues to be Considered7.3 Alpha and Gamma Radiation Working7.4 Decommissioning Examples8 Preparation of Documentation for Decommissioning8.1 Introduction8.2 Decommissioning Plan and Programme8.3 Decommissioning Safety Case8.4 Conventional Safety Documentation Requirements8.5 Management Procedures and Quality Assurance8.6 Examples of Typical Safety Documentation8.6.1 Materials Test reactors to Stage 2 Decommissioning8.6.2 Jason (Royal Naval College) Reactor to Stage 3 Decommissioning8.6.3 Site Environmental Remediation to Unrestricted Use9 Radiological Characterisation9.1 Introduction9.2 General Approach9.3 Characterisation Plan9.4 In-Situ Measurements9.5 Sampling and Analysis9.6 Quality Assurance Requirements9.7 Characterisation Report10 Decontamination Techniques10.1 Introduction10.2 Objectives and Constraints for Decontamination10.3 Characteristics of Decontamination Techniques10.3.1 Non-Attritive Cleaning10.3.2 Chemical Decontamination10.3.3 Physical Attrition10.4 Waste Minimisation and Treatment10.5 Selecting a Decontamination Technique10.6 Positive and Negative Experiences from Completed Projects11 Dismantling Techniques11.1 Introduction11.2 Cutting Techniques11.2.1 Mechanical Cutting11.2.2 Thermal Cutting11.2.3 Other Methods11.3 Remote Handling Techniques11.4 Radiological Protection During Dismantling11.4.1 Contamination Containment11.4.2 Personal Protective Equipment11.5 Case Study: WAGR Decommissioning11.5.1 Introduction11.5.2 Decommissioning Plan11.5.3 Remote Operations - Dismantling the Core Components11.5.4 The Dismantling Campaigns11.5.5 Fuel Strategy12 Site Environmental Restoration Programme Management12.1 Introduction 12.2 The Framework for Environmental Restoration Programme Management12.3 The Strategic Plan12.3.1 Introduction12.3.2 A Strategic Planning System12.3.3 Managing the Care and Maintenance Process12.3.4 Programme Risk Management12.3.5 Programme and Project Prioritisation12.4 The Integrated Site Restoration Plan12.5 Making the Case for a Project to Proceed12.6 The Project Sanction Process12.6.1 Introduction12.6.2 Typical Sanction Paper Structure12.7 Principles for Carrying Out Financial Appraisals12.8 Sanction Case Study - Repacking Site X Legacy Intermediate Level Wastes13 Project Investment Appraisal and Contract Strategy13.1 Introduction13.2 Capital Investment13.3 Project Identification13.4 Appraisal Methods13.4.1 Rate of Return13.4.2 Payback13.4.3 Time Value of Money13.4.4 Discounted Cash Flow- Net Present Value (NPV)- Discounted Cash Flow (DCF)- Internal Rate of Return (IRR)13.5 Project Investment Examples13.5.1 NPV Example13.5.2 IRR Example13.5.3 NPV vs. IRR13.5.4 Project X, Other Problems and Discussion 13.6 Modern Contract Strategy in the Nuclear Industry13.6.1 Introduction13.6.2 Modern Contract Selection Appropriate to Nuclear Decommissioning13.6.3 Types of Contract13.7 Alternative Sources of Funds13.7.1 Introduction13.7.2 What is PFI?13.7.3 Fixed Price/Risk Premium and Value for Money13.7.4 Technical Viability and PFI Project Set-Up Costs13.7.5 The Staged Approach to PFI13.8 EnclosuresTable A - Present Value of £1Table B - Present Value of £1 Received Annually for N Years13.9 Exercises13.9.1 - 13.9.813.9.9 Case Study - The "D-Two" Decommissioning Company13.9.10 Case Study - The "Delay and Decay" Decommissioning Company13.9.11 Suggested Case Study Solutions14 Hazard Reduction and Project Prioritisation14.1 Introduction14.2 Understanding Risk and Doses14.3 Hazard Reduction14.3.1 Why is Hazard Reduction Important?14.3.2 How are Hazards Reduced?14.3.3 What Methods may be used to Gauge Hazard Reduction?14.4 Project Prioritisation14.4.1 Why do we need to Prioritise our Projects?14.4.2 A Prioritisation Methodology14.4.3 The Model14.5 Case Studies14.5.1 Case Study - Hazard Reduction Over Time on Site X14.5.2 Case Study - "My project is more important than yours"; A Case for Project Prioritisation15 Decommissioning Cost Estimating15.1 Introduction15.2 Conventional Cost Estimating15.3 Standardised Cost Listings15.4 Parametric Cost Estimating 16 Waste Management - Introduction and Overview16.1 Requirements to Manage Radioactive Wastes16.2 Characterisation and Segregation16.3 Passive Safety16.4 Classification of Wastes16.4.1 Introduction16.4.2 Exempt Materials16.4.3 Clean Materials - Free Release16.4.4 Very Low Level Waste (VLLW)16.4.5 Low Level Waste (LLW)16.4.6 Intermediate Level Waste (ILW)16.4.7 High Level Waste (HLW)16.5 Summary17 Waste Management Strategy17.1 Introduction17.2 Waste Management Strategy Requirements17.2.1 Regulations17.2.2 Consultation17.2.3 Completeness17.2.4 NII Requirements17.2.5 Environment Agencies' Requirements17.2.6 ILW Disposal Company (Nirex) Requirements17.2.7 LLW Disposal Company (BNFL, Drigg) Requirements17.2.8 Integration of the Strategy17.2.9 Costs 17.3 Elements of Waste Management Strategy17.3.1 Waste Generation17.3.2 Interim Storage17.3.3 Retrieval17.3.4 Treatment17.3.5 Conditioning17.3.6 Storage17.3.7 Disposal17.4 Strategic Planning17.4.1 Waste Inventory17.4.2 Evaluation of Treatment/Processing Options17.4.3 Reference Strategy17.5 Integration and Costing17.6 Review and Updating17.7 The Fundamentals of Licensees' Waste Management Strategies17.7.1 UKAEA17.7.2 BNFL17.7.3 British Energy (BE)17.7.4 Liabilities Management Authority (LMA)17.8 Summary18 Policy and Regulatory Aspects of Waste Management18.1 Introduction18.2 Nuclear Site Operations18.2.1 Liability and Compensation for Nuclear Damage18.2.2 Operational Safety 18.3 Environmental Policy and Regulation18.3.1 Introduction18.3.2 Specific Regulations18.3.3 Assessment Terminology18.3.4 Assessment Criteria18.4 Environmental Management System (EMS)18.5 Organisational Framework18.6 Tolerability of Risk 19 Management of Low Level Wastes (LLW)19.1 Introduction19.2 Sources of LLW19.2.1 Introduction19.2.2 Fuel Manufacture19.2.3 Nuclear Power Generation and Decommissioning19.2.4 Fuel Reprocessing19.2.5 Other Sources19.3 LLW Disposal19.3.1 Regulatory Controls19.3.2 Waste Control Systems19.4 LLW Disposal Practices19.5 LLW Conditioning Facilities20 Management of Intermediate Level Wastes (ILW)20.1 Introduction20.2 Regulatory Requirements for ILW20.3 Sources and Processing Requirements20.4 Standard Waste Packages & Specifications20.4.1 Waste Package Specification20.4.2 Storage20.4.3 Transport20.4.4 Disposal20.4.5 ILW Conditions for Acceptance for Interim Storage & / or Eventual Disposal20.5 Case Study - Waste Packaging Exercise20.5.1 Introduction20.5.2 Waste Descriptions20.5.3 Solid Waste Packaging Concept20.5.4 Sludge Waste Packaging Concept20.5.5 Questions and Hints to Answers20.5.6 General Case Study Data20.5.7 Suggested Answers to the Case Study Questions 21 Management of High Level Wastes (HLW)21.1 Introduction21.2 Origins and Disposition of HLW 21.3 Spent Fuel21.3.1 Introduction21.3.2 Storage21.3.3 Security and Safeguards21.3.4 Conditioning for Disposal21.4 HLW Characteristics and Inventory Data21.5 HLW - Current World Disposal Status22 Transport22.1 Introduction22.2 Regulatory Requirements for Transport22.2.1 Regulations22.2.2 General Requirements22.2.3 Package Specific Requirements22.2.4 Mode Specific Requirements22.2.5 Operational Requirements22.2.6 Special Arrangements22.3 Examples of Waste Transport in the UK 22.3.1 BNFL22.3.2 UKAEA22.3.3 AEA-Technology22.3.4 Croft Associates22.3.5 Nirex22.4 Examples of Waste Transport outside the UK 22.4.1 Trupact22.4.2 Cogema Logistics LR5622.4.3 BNFL Vit Return Flask22.4.4 Swedish Waste Shipments22.4.5 Cogema Gemini22.5 Transport of Large items of Decommissioning Waste22.5.1 Application of the Regulations to Large Items22.5.2 General Requirements22.5.3 Examples of the Transport of Large Decommissioning Items22.6 Regulatory Considerations In the UK22.6.1 DfT22.6.2 NII22.6.3 Environmental Agencies 22.7 Waste Transport Planning23 Radiation and its Control23.1 Introduction23.2 The Properties of Radiation23.3 The Measurement of Radiation23.4 The Biological Effects of Radiation23.5 Radiological Protection Principles23.5.1 Justification23.5.2 Dose Limits for Protective Action23.5.3 Optimisation of Protection23.6 Methods of Radiation Protection23.7 Choosing Detection Equipment23.8 Practical Aspects of Radiation Protection23.8.1 Designation of Controlled and Supervised Areas23.8.2 Categorisation of Controlled Areas23.8.3 Personal Protective Equipment23.9 Summary24 Site Remediation - Principles and Regulatory Aspects24.1 Introduction24.2 Delicensing24.3 Chemically Contaminated Ground24.4 Radioactively Contaminated Ground24.5 Principles for Management of Contaminated Ground24.6 Best Practical Environmental Option24.7 Summary25 Characterisation of Contaminated Ground25.1 Introduction25.2 Desk Studies25.3 Walk Over Surveys25.4 Planning the Characterisation Programme25.5 Health, Safety and Logistical Issues25.6 Non Intrusive Surveys25.6.1 Radiological Surveys25.6.2 Geophysical Surveys25.7 Intrusive Surveys25.8 Logging, Sampling and Analysis25.9 Interpretation and Modelling25.10 Databasing and GIS25.11 Guidance on Site Investigation26 Technologies for Remediating Contaminated Land26.1 Introduction26.2 Waste Minimisation26.3 Immobilisation, Stabilisation and Solidification26.4 Containment Systems and Hydraulic Measures26.5 Treatment of Contaminated Groundwater26.6 Best Practical Environmental Option Annex 1 - A Summary of International Waste Management Practice Country Specific Examples of Radioactive Waste Management Programmes A.1.1 Belgium A 1.2 Canada A 1.3 FinlandA 1.4 FranceA 1.5 GermanyA 1.6 JapanA 1.7 NetherlandsA 1.8 SpainA 1.9 Sweden A 1.10 Switzerland A 1.11 United Kingdom A 1.12 United States of America (USA) A 1.13 Central and Eastern European CountriesAnnex 2 - An Example of a Project Sanction Case - Repacking of Harwell Legacy Intermediate Level WasteAnnex 3 - Preliminary Background Introduction to Accounting Terminology A 3.1 IntroductionA 3.2 Glossary of Accounting TermsA 3.3 The Balance SheetA 3.4 The Profit and Loss AccountA 3.5 Preliminary Background Introduction to Accounting TerminologyA 3.6 DepreciationA 3.7 Answers to ExercisesAnnex 4 - References, Internet Information and Book Reading List A 4.1 References A 4.2 Internet Information A 4.3 BooklistAnnex 5 - Elements and Isotopes A 5.1 Introduction A 5.2 The Nucleus A 5.3 Radioactivity A 5.4 Half-Life A 5.5 Table of ElementsAnnex 6 - Case Study: Dounreay Castle Ground Remediation