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This study contributes to the physico-chemical characterisation of radioactive waste. The subject of the study is the heavy metal content of this waste. The choice of metals to be inventoried is derived from the compilation of official texts on radioactive waste drafted on various levels (regional, national, European), and of safety criteria applied in radioactive waste management. A qualitative study identifies the metals present in the raw waste, the packages and the conditioning matrix. The latter two sources are quantified on the basis of general estimates made within the scope of the Belgian nuclear programme, whereas the first source was the subject of a selective enquiry among several radioactive waste producers. The results of these activities have revealed the great variety of metals present, often in considerable quantities, in radioactive waste. A comparison between the surface disposal systems for radioactive waste and non-radioactive industrial waste shows the differences regarding design, management and survey of the constructions. Examples show that it is possible to reduce the presence of certain metals in radioactive waste by preventive actions. The physico-chemical acceptance criteria for radioactive waste in Belgium are also reviewed, as well as the preliminary results of the impact study of zinc on a surface disposal facility for radioactive waste.

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Authors: SKA B, ONDRAF/NIRAS, Bruxelles (BE);DE GOEYSE A, ONDRAF/NIRAS, Bruxelles (BE)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 15687 FR (1995) 118 pp., FS, ECU 13.50
Availability: (2)
ISBN: ISBN 92-827-0086-0
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