An Introduction to Nuclear Waste Immobilisation - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780080444628, 9780080455716

An Introduction to Nuclear Waste Immobilisation

1st Edition

Authors: Michael Ojovan Michael Ojovan William Lee William Lee
Hardcover ISBN: 9780080444628
eBook ISBN: 9780080455716
Imprint: Elsevier Science
Published Date: 19th September 2005
Page Count: 250
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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


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© Elsevier Science 2005
Elsevier Science
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About the Author

Michael Ojovan

Dr Michael I. Ojovan is an Associate Professor (Reader) in Materials Science and Waste Immobilisation at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, The University of Sheffield, UK.

Affiliations and Expertise

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

Michael Ojovan

Dr Michael I. Ojovan is an Associate Professor (Reader) in Materials Science and Waste Immobilisation at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, The University of Sheffield, UK.

Affiliations and Expertise

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

William 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

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Materials, Imperial College London, UK


" excellent source of knowledge for undergraduates who require general information on nuclear waste and its immobilisation." -Dr. John Fernie in MATERIALS WORLD, May 2007