An Introduction to Nuclear Waste Immobilisation - 2nd Edition - ISBN: 9780080993928, 9780080993935

An Introduction to Nuclear Waste Immobilisation

2nd Edition

Authors: Michael Ojovan William Lee
Hardcover ISBN: 9780080993928
eBook ISBN: 9780080993935
Imprint: Elsevier
Published Date: 6th December 2013
Page Count: 376
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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.

Key Features

  • The fully revised second edition focuses on core technologies and has an integrated approach to immobilization and hazards
  • Each chapter focuses on a different matrix used in nuclear waste immobilization: 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 immobilization

Table of Contents


Preface to the Second Edition

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 Processing and Immobilisation

1.7 Time Frames


2. Nuclear Decay

2.1 Nuclear Matter

2.2 Radioactive Decay

2.3 Decay Law

2.4 Radioactive Equilibrium

2.5 Activity

2.6 Alpha Decay

2.7 Beta Decay

2.8 Gamma Decay

2.9 Spontaneous Fission

2.10 Radionuclide Characteristics


3. Contaminants and Hazards

3.1 Elemental Abundance

3.2 Migration and Redistribution

3.3 Potential Hazard of Nuclear Waste

3.4 Relative Hazards

3.5 Importance of Wasteform: Real Hazard Concept

3.6 Wasteform Durability and Hazard Diminishing


4. Naturally Occurring Radionuclides


4.2 Primordial Radionuclides

4.3 Use of Primordial Radionuclides for Dating

4.4 Natural Nuclear Reactors

4.5 Cosmogenic Radionuclides

4.6 Natural Radionuclides in Igneous Rocks

4.7 Natural Radionuclides in Sedimentary Rocks and Soils

4.8 Natural Radionuclides in Sea Water

4.9 Radon Emissions

4.10 Natural Radionuclides in the Human Body


5. Background Radiation

5.1 Radiation is Natural

5.2 Dose Units

5.3 Biological Consequences of Irradiation

5.4 Background Radiation


6. Nuclear Waste Regulations

6.1 Regulatory Organisations

6.2 Protection Philosophies

6.3 Regulation of Radioactive Materials and Sources

6.4 Exemption Criteria and Levels

6.5 Clearance of Materials from Regulatory Control – Moderate Amounts

6.6 Clearance of Materials from Regulatory Control – Bulk Amounts

6.7 Double Standards

6.8 Dose Limits

6.9 Control of Radiation Hazards

6.10 Nuclear Waste Classification

6.11 IAEA Classification Scheme

6.12 Examples of Waste Classification



7. Principles of Nuclear Waste Management

7.1 International Consensus

7.2 Objective of Radioactive Waste Management

7.3 Fundamental Principles

7.4 Comments on the Fundamental Principles

7.5 Fundamental Safety Principles

7.6 Ethical Principles

7.7 Joint Convention

7.8 International Cooperation



8. Nuclear Waste Types and Sources

8.1 Sources of Nuclear Waste

8.2 Front-End and Operational NFC Waste

8.3 Back-End Open NFC Waste

8.4 Back-End Closed NFC Waste

8.5 Back-End NFC Decommissioning Waste

8.6 Non-NFC Wastes

8.7 Accidental Wastes

8.8 Global Inventory



9. Short-Lived Waste Radionuclides

9.1 Introduction

9.2 Tritium

9.3 Cobalt-60

9.4 Strontium-90

9.5 Cesium-137


10. Long-Lived Waste Radionuclides

10.1 Introduction

10.2 Carbon-14

10.3 Technetium-99

10.4 Iodine-129

10.5 Plutonium

10.6 Neptunium-237

10.7 Nuclear Criticality



11. Waste Processing Schemes

11.1 Management Roadmap

11.2 Waste Life Cycle

11.3 Pre-disposal

11.4 Disposal

11.5 Categorisation for Processing

11.6 Selection of Processing Technologies

11.7 Wasteforms

11.8 Waste Packages

11.9 Processing of NORM waste



12. Characterisation of Radioactive Waste

12.1 Approaches to Waste Characterisation

12.2 Characterisation of Radiation Fields

12.3 Sampling and Characterisation of Surface Contamination

12.4 Waste Characterisation Techniques

12.5 Characterisation of Waste Packages and Wasteforms

12.6 Characterisation of Environment and Personnel


13. Pre-treatment of Radioactive Wastes

13.1 Pre-treatment Objectives

13.2 Collection and Segregation

13.3 Adjustment

13.4 Size Reduction

13.5 Packaging

13.6 Decontamination


14. Treatment of Radioactive Wastes

14.1 Treatment Objectives

14.2 Treatment of Aqueous Wastes

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



15. Immobilisation of Radioactive Waste in Cement

15.1 Cementitious Wasteforms

15.2 Hydraulic Cements

15.3 Cement Hydration

15.4 Phase Composition of Hydrated Cements

15.5 Cementation of Radioactive Wastes

15.6 Modified and Composite Cement Systems

15.7 Alternative Cementitious Systems

15.8 Cementation Technology

15.9 Acceptance Criteria



16. Immobilisation of Radioactive Waste in Bitumen

16.1 Bituminisation

16.2 Composition and Properties of Bitumen

16.3 Bituminous Materials for Waste Immobilisation

16.4 Waste Loading

16.5 Bituminisation Technique

16.6 Acceptance Criteria

16.7 Bitumen Versus Cement


17. Immobilisation of Radioactive Waste in Glass

17.1 Glasses and the Vitreous State

17.2 Glasses for Nuclear Waste Immobilisation

17.3 Immobilisation Mechanisms

17.4 Borosilicate Glasses

17.5 Cations in Silicate Glasses

17.6 Degree of Polymerisation

17.7 Role of Boron Oxide

17.8 Role of Intermediates and Modifiers

17.9 Difficult Elements

17.10 Selection Rules for a Nuclear Wasteform Silicate Glass

17.11 Phosphate Glasses

17.12 Glass Composite Materials

17.13 Vitrification Technology

17.14 Development of Vitrification Technologies

17.15 Calcination Processes

17.16 Cold Crucible Melters

17.17 In Situ Vitrification

17.18 Radionuclide Volatility

17.19 Acceptance Criteria



18. New Immobilising Hosts and Technologies

18.1 New Approaches

18.2 Crystalline Wasteforms

18.3 Radiation Damage

18.4 Actinide-Hosting Ceramics

18.5 Polyphase Crystalline Wasteforms: Synroc

18.6 Polyphase Wasteforms: Glass–Crystalline Composites

18.7 New Technological Approaches

18.8 Metal Matrix Immobilisation



19. Transport and Storage of Radioactive Waste

19.1 Transportation

19.2 Storage

19.3 SNF Storage

19.4 Storage Inventory


20. Nuclear Waste Disposal

20.1 Disposal/Storage Concepts

20.2 Retention Times

20.3 Multi-Barrier Concept

20.4 Disposal/Storage Options

20.5 Role of the EBS

20.6 Importance of NGB

20.7 Transport of Radionuclides

20.8 Disposal Experience

20.9 Acceptance Criteria


21. Safety and Performance Assessments

21.1 Safety Case

21.2 Safety Requirements

21.3 Safety Assessment Report

21.4 Safety Assessment Process

21.5 Cementitious Materials Performance

21.6 Bitumen Performance

21.7 Glass Performance

21.8 Glass Corrosion Mechanisms

21.9 Glass Performance in Confined Conditions (Geological Repository)

21.10 Radiation Effects

21.11 Research Laboratories

21.12 Conclusion




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© Elsevier 2014
Hardcover ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

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

William Lee

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Materials, Imperial College London, UK


"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 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

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