Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Abstract

The arising of nuclear waste keeps pace with the deployment of nuclear energy. At the end of 1983 a total electricity generation capacity by nuclear energy of more than 50 GWe was installed and operational in member countries of the European Community. This is represented by almost 100 nuclear power stations, which have a share of 16% in the electricity production capacity. Their exploitation causes the major part of nuclear waste coming from nuclear research activities and from the use of radioisotopes. The overwhelming part of all the nuclear wastes produced belongs to the low level and medium level waste categories which represent 95% of the total volume in conditioned form, the remainder being mainly so-called medium level alpha waste (more than 4%) and only less than 1% of the conditioned waste volume falls into the category of high level waste. The present total of all nuclear wastes in the Community amounts to about 65000 m**3 per year (as conditioned), averaged over the 5-year period 1981 - 1985. The situation of nuclear waste arising in the Community, together with the available waste management methods and the future prospects in the matter are illustrated in the present paper. Moreover, the paper gives an overall view of the relevant R & D work sponsored by the Commission through multiannual research programmes realized at numerous places in the member states. The main topics of these research activities are waste treatment and conditioning techniques, the testing and characterization of conditioned waste forms and the final storage of waste packages in stable geological formations. In the scope of the Community actions, support was also devoted to investigate the use of lead as a matrix material for waste incorporation (e.g. for cladding hulls of spent fuel elements) and as a filler material for high level waste packages.

Additional information

Authors: HEBEL W, CEC BRUXELLES (BELGIUM);CRICCHIO A, CEC BRUXELLES (BELGIUM);HAIJTINK B CEC BRUXELLES (BELGIUM), CEC BRUXELLES (BELGIUM)
Bibliographic Reference: LEAD: ITS ROLE IN NUCLEAR WASTE MANAGEMENT. BRUXELLES (BELGIUM), NOV. 20, 1984 WRITE TO CEC LUXEMBOURG, DG XIII/A2, POB 1907 MENTIONING PAPER E 31865 ORA
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