An Introduction to Nuclear Waste Immobilisation

An Introduction to Nuclear Waste Immobilisation

1st Edition - September 19, 2005

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  • Authors: Michael Ojovan, W. E. Lee, William Lee
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080455716

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Safety and environmental impact is of uppermost concern when dealing with the movement and storage of nuclear waste. The 20 chapters in 'An Introduction to Nuclear Waste Immobilisation' cover all important aspects of immobilisation, from nuclear decay, to regulations, to new technologies and methods. Significant focus is given to the analysis of the various matrices used in transport: cement, bitumen and glass, with the greatest attention being given to glass. The last chapter concentrates on the performance assessment of each matrix, and on new developments of ceramics and glass composite materials, thermochemical methods and in-situ metal matrix immobilisation. The book thoroughly covers all issues surrounding nuclear waste: from where to locate nuclear waste in the environment, through nuclear waste generation and sources, treatment schemes and technologies, immobilisation technologies and waste forms, disposal and long term behaviour. Particular attention is paid to internationally approved and worldwide-applied approaches and technologies.

Key Features

* Each chapter focuses on a different matrix used in nuclear waste immobilisation: Cement, bitumen, glass and new materials.
* Keeps the most important issues surrounding nuclear waste – such as treatment schemes and technologies, and disposal - at the forefront.


Materials, environmental and energy scientists and researchers. Anyone researching or developing materials for nuclear waste immobilisation.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Introduction to immobilisation

    1.1 Introduction
    1.2 The importance of waste
    1.3 Radioactive waste
    1.4 Recycling
    1.5 Waste minimisation
    1.6 Immobilisation
    1.7 Time frames
    1.8 Bibliography

    2. Nuclear decay

    2.1. Nuclear decay
    2.2. Decay law
    2.3. Radioactive equilibrium
    2.4. Activity
    2.5. 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 abundance
    3.2. 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 contaminants
    4.2. Biogeochemical cycle
    4.3. Heavy metals
    4.4. Heavy metals in living species
    4.5. Lead
    4.6. Mercury
    4.7. Cadmium
    4.8. Arsenic
    4.9. Bibliography

    5. Naturally occurring radionuclides

    5.1. NORM and TENORM
    5.2. Primordial radionuclides
    5.3. Cosmogenic radionuclides
    5.4. Natural radionuclides in igneous rocks
    5.5. Natural radionuclides in sedimentary rocks and soils
    5.6. Natural radionuclides in sea water
    5.7. Radon emissions
    5.8. Natural radionuclides in the human body
    5.9. Bibliography

    6. Background radiation

    6.1. Radiation is natural
    6.2. Dose units
    6.3. Biological consequences of irradiation
    6.4. Background radiation
    6.5. 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 levels
    7.5. Clearance of materials from regulatory control
    7.6. Double standards
    7.7. Dose limits
    7.8. Control of radiation hazards
    7.9. Bibliography

    8. Principles of nuclear waste management

    8.1. International consensus
    8.2. Objective of radioactive waste management
    8.3. Fundamental principles
    8.4. Comments on the fundamental principles
    8.5. Ethical principles
    8.6. Joint convention
    8.7. Bibliography

    9. Sources and characteristics of nuclear waste

    9.1. Key waste characteristics
    9.2. Classification schemes
    9.3. Examples of waste classification
    9.4. Sources of waste
    9.5. Front end and operational NFC waste
    9.6. Back end Open NFC waste
    9.7. Back end Closed NFC waste
    9.8. Back end NFC decommissioning waste
    9.9. Non-NFC wastes
    9.10. Accidental wastes
    9.11. Bibliography

    10. Short-lived waste radionuclides

    10.1. Introduction
    10.2. Tritium
    10.3. Cobalt-60
    10.4. Strontium-90
    10.5. Caesium-137
    10.6. Bibliography

    11. Long-lived waste radionuclides

    11.1. Introduction
    11.2. Carbon-14
    11.3. Technetium-99
    11.4. Iodine-129
    11.5. Plutonium
    11.6. Neptunium-237
    11.7. Criticality
    11.8. Bibliography

    12. Management and characterisation of radioactive waste

    12.1. Management roadmaps
    12.2. Predisposal
    12.3. Disposal
    12.4. Characterisation
    12.5. Bibliography

    13. Pre-treatment of radioactive wastes

    13.1. Pre-treatment definition
    13.2. Collection and segregation
    13.3. Adjustment
    13.4. Size reduction
    13.5. Packaging
    13.6. Decontamination
    13.7. Bibliography

    14. Treatment of radioactive wastes

    14.1. Treatment objectives
    14.2. Treatment of aqueous waste
    14.3. Treatment of organic liquid wastes
    14.4. Treatment of solid wastes
    14.5. Treatment of gaseous and airborne effluents
    14.6. Partitioning and transmutation
    14.7. Bibliography

    15. Immobilisation of radioactive wastes in cement

    15.1. Waste immobilisation
    15.2. Wasteform leaching behaviour
    15.3. Immobilisation techniques
    15.4. Immobilisation in hydraulic cements
    15.5. Hydraulic cements
    15.6. Cement hydration
    15.7. Hydrated cement composition
    15.8. Cementation of radioactive wastes
    15.9. Modified and composite cement systems
    15.10. Cementation technology
    15.11. Acceptance criteria
    15.12. Bibliography

    16. Immobilisation of radioactive wastes in bitumen

    16.1. Bituminisation
    16.2. Composition and properties of bitumen
    16.3. Bituminous materials for waste immobilisation
    16.4. Bituminisation technique
    16.5. Acceptance criteria
    16.6. Bitumen versus cement
    16.7. Bibliography

    17. Immobilisation of radioactive wastes in glass

    17.1. Vitrification
    17.2. Immobilisation mechanisms
    17.3. Retention of radionuclides
    17.4. Nuclear waste glasses
    17.5. Nuclear waste glass compositions
    17.6. Borosilicate glasses
    17.7. Role of boron oxide
    17.8. Role of intermediates and modifiers
    17.9. Difficult elements
    17.10. Phosphate glasses
    17.11. Glass composites
    17.12. Vitrification processes
    17.13. Cold crucible melters
    17.14. Vitrification technology
    17.15. Calcination
    17.16. Radionuclide volatility
    17.18. Acceptance criteria
    17.19. Bibliography

    18. New immobilising hosts and technologies

    18.1. New approaches
    18.2. Crystalline wasteforms
    18.3. Polyphase crystalline wasteforms: Synroc
    18.4. Polyphase crystalline waste forms: composites
    18.5. New technological approaches
    18.6. Metal matrix immobilisation
    18.7. Bibliography

    19. Nuclear waste disposal

    19.1. Disposal/Storage concepts
    19.2. Retention times
    19.3. Multibarrier concept
    19.4. Disposal/Storage options
    19.5. Role of the EBS
    19.6. Importance of geology
    19.7. Transport of radionuclides
    19.8. Disposal/Storage experience
    19.9. Acceptance criteria
    19.10. Bibliography

    20. Performance assessment

    20.1. Safety and performance assessments
    20.2. Safety requirements
    20.3. Safety case content
    20.4. Cement performance
    20.5. Bitumen performance
    20.6. Glass performance
    20.7. Radiation effects
    20.8. Research laboratories
    20.9. Conclusion
    20.10. Bibliography

Product details

  • No. of pages: 250
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier Science 2005
  • Published: September 19, 2005
  • Imprint: Elsevier Science
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080455716

About the Authors

Michael Ojovan

Michael I. Ojovan has been Nuclear Engineer of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), visiting Professor of Imperial College London, Associate Reader in Materials Science and Waste Immobilisation of the University of Sheffield, UK, and Leading Scientist of Radiochemistry Department of Lomonosov Moscow State University. M. Ojovan is Editorial Board Member of scientific journals: “Materials Degradation” (Nature Partner Journal), “International Journal of Corrosion”, “Science and Technology of Nuclear Installations”, “Journal of Nuclear Materials”, and Associate Editor of journal “Innovations in Corrosion and Materials Science”. He has published 12 monographs including the “Handbook of Advanced Radioactive Waste Conditioning Technologies” by Woodhead and three editions of “An Introduction to Nuclear Waste Immobilisation” by Elsevier – 2005, 2013 and 2019. He has founded and led the IAEA International Predisposal Network (IPN) and the IAEA International Project on Irradiated Graphite Processing (GRAPA). M. Ojovan is known for the connectivity-percolation theory of glass transition, Sheffield model (two-exponential equation) of viscosity of glasses and melts, condensed Rydberg matter, metallic and glass-composite materials for nuclear waste immobilisation, and self-sinking capsules to investigate Earth’ deep interior.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Sheffield, UK

W. E. Lee

Professor William E. Lee FREng is Deputy Chair of the Government advisory Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM), and Director of the Centre for Nuclear Engineering at Imperial College London, UK.

Affiliations and Expertise

Immobilisation Science Laboratory, University of Sheffield, UK.

William Lee

Professor Lee has been Co-Director of the Institute of Security Science and Technology (ISST), Chair in Ceramic Science and Engineering, and President of the American Ceramic Society. Previous positions at Imperial include Director of the Centre for Nuclear Engineering, Director of the Centre for Doctoral Training in Nuclear Energy (with Cambridge and The Open Universities), and Director of the Centre for Advanced Structural Ceramics. He is a member of the Government advisory committee The Nuclear Innovation and Research Advisory Board (NIRAB), the Leverhulme Trust Panel of Advisors, the Royal Academy of Engineering International Activities Committee, and the Scientific and Environmental Advisory Board Tokamak Energy Ltd. He was from Jan 2006 to Sept 2010 Head of the Department of Materials. Bill was Deputy Chair of the Government advisory Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) from 2007-2013, has acted as special advisor nuclear to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee (2013) and is an IAEA Technical Expert.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Materials, Imperial College London, UK

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