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Content archived on 2024-04-15

RADIOLOGICAL EVALUATION OF RELEASING VERY LOW-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE COPPER AND ALUMINIUM

Objective

"DE MINIMIS" LIMITS ARE BEING ESTABLISHED IN VARIOUS COUNTRIES (GERMANY, ITALY, FRANCE, UK) AND BY THE CEC FOR THE RECYCLING OF STEEL., AND BY THE IAEA FOR DISPOSAL/INCINERATION OF WASTE. TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE IMPORTANT EXCHANGES OF METAL BETWEEN EC COUNTRIES, IT SEEMS NECESSARY TO OBTAIN COMMON "DE MINIMIS" VALUES ALSO FOR OTHER MATERIALS ARISING IN LARGE QUANTITIES IN THE DISMANTLING OF NUCLEAR INSTALLATIONS, PARTICULARLY FOR COPPER AND ALUMINIUM.

THIS STUDY COMPRISES ALL POSSIBLE RECYCLING MODES, AS WELL AS THE DISCHARGE TO THE ENVIRONMENT, OF VERY LOW-LEVEL COPPER AND ALUMINIUM COMING FROM DECOMMISSIONING AND REFURBISHING OF NUCLEAR INSTALLATIONS.
The work is dealing with an evaluation of the doses likely to be received by the public and nonnuclear workers during the disposal and/or recycling of very slightly contaminated or activated copper and aluminium from the dismantling of nuclear installations. Copper and aluminium wastes arising from the dismantling of nuclear installations are mainly electrical cable constituents. Estimated quantitites are relatively low compared to steel quantities arising from dismantling. The study is based on the hypothesis that 2 pressurised water reactors (PWR) are dismantled per year, estimated quantities are 200 tonnes of copper, 40 tonnes of aluminium and 500 tonnes of cable insulation material, mainly polyvinyl chloride (PVC). From the information given, exposure scenarios which may occur can be defined. The doses likely to be received are calculated. Reference doses are established from International Commission on Radiation Protection (ICRP), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Nuclear Energy Authority (NEA) recommendations. Comparing the calculated doses and the reference doses, the activity level of the initial waste can be deduced with respect to recommendations. The mean specific activity of the main beta gamma emitters in copper, aluminium and PVC are of the same order of magnitude (ie 10 Bq/g). In the case of alpha emitters, specific activity levels depend on the material and on the radionuclide, and vary from 2 Bq/g to 10 Bq/g in copper and from 10 Bq/g to 50 Bq/g in aluminium.
B.1. STUDY AND DEFINITION OF RELEVANT BASIC DATA RELATING TO THE RECYCLING OF COPPER AND ALUMINIUM, INCLUDING INDUSTRIAL USE, TRANSFORMATION, WORK PLACE CHARACTERISTICS, TYPE AND QUANTITIES OF IMPURITIES.

B.2. COMPILATION AND SYNTHESIS OF THE REVIEWED DATA AND CALCULATION OF THE RADIOLOGICAL CONSEQUENCES DUE TO RECYCLING, REUSE AND REFUSE DISPOSAL.

B.3. DETERMINATION OF ACTIVITY LIMITS APPLICABLE TO COPPER AND ALUMINIUM AND COMPARISON WITH LIMITS UNDER DEFINITION FOR STEEL, CONCRETE AND TECHNOLOGICAL WASTE.

B.4. EVALUATION AND COMPARISON OF THE COSTS OF THE TWO MANAGEMENT MODES, I.E. FIRST, CONDITIONING, TRANSPORT AND STORAGE OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE, AND SECOND, CONDITIONING, TRANSPORT AND RECYCLING OF NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTE.

Topic(s)

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Call for proposal

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Coordinator

Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique (CEA)
EU contribution
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Address
Centre d'Études de Fontenay-aux-Roses
92265 Fontenay-aux-Roses
France

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Total cost
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