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Inventory and Characterization of Important Radionuclides for Safety of Storage and Disposal. Correlation with Key Nuclides that are Easy to Measure in Typical Waste Streams

Objective

This programme has three main objectives:

- checking and standardisation of operational analytical methods for application to real samples of the main waste streams,
- developing some alternative analytical methods for long-lived radionuclides,
- computing correlation factors for critical radionuclides to easily measurable key nuclides, through the analysis of the main waste streams of the contractors.
This contribution to the characterization of the radionuclide inventory of isotopes of critical importance to the safety of storage and disposal comprises a study of the main radioactive waste streams produced in each of the participating countries.

The study has 3 main objectives:
to check and standardize existing analytical methods for application to real samples from the main waste streams;
to develop some new alternative analytical methods for long-lived beta emitting nuclides;
to establish correlations for critical radionuclides to easily measurable key nuclides.
Only low or intermediate level wastes originating from both power plants or reprocessing plants will be considered in the framework of this contract. Samples of each of the selected waste streams will be analyzed for both easy to measure key nuclides and critical isotopes are determined by the national safety assessments of each participant. The list of radionuclides was established from the national safety assessments for each participating country. Not all of these nuclides are presently attainable with the existing analytical techniques of the contractors. The list of nondestructive measurements has been finalized and mainly concerns the analysis of cesium-137 and of some other gamma emitters in low or medium level combustible or compressible wastes from reprocessing plants.

The analytical methods that should be used in the framework of this programme were reviewed and compared in terms of principles and of detection limits. A new and rapid procedure for the analysis of iodine-129 has also been developed.
Work programme:

Only low- or intermediate-level wastes originating from both power plants or reprocessing plants will be considered in the framework of these contracts.
Samples of each selected waste stream will be analyzed for both easy-to-measure key nuclides and critical isotopes as determined by the national safety assessment of each contractor.
Development of analytical methods
- improvement of the current procedures for long-lived radionuclides
- search for alternative methods as compared to those based on radiation detection
- development of special procedures for the recovery of radionuclides from solid, low-level technological wastes
Measurement of wastes from nuclear power plants
- collection of available results from previous measurements
- waste sampling and analysis for the radioactive content
Measurement of wastes from fuel reprocessing plants (ENEA, AEA)
- construction of a non-destructive measurement system for gamma-emitters (ENEA)
- tests of the measuring equipments with simulated wastes
- intercomparison of the tests results
- destructive and non-destructive measurement campaigns on reprocessing wastes
- assessment of the results and discussion of possible further improvements
Data evaluation and processing (GRS)
- evaluation of available results from previous measurements
- continuous evaluation of the results relevant to this programme
- implementation of data banks for wastes from both reprocessing and nuclear power plants
- development of statistical tools for evaluation of results
- development of individual evaluation codes for each participant
- testing and optimizing codes for routine applications

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique (CEA)
Address
Centre D'études De Cadarache Sere-ders
13108 Saint-paul-lez-durance
France

Participants (3)

Ente per le Nuove Tecnologie l'Energia e l'Ambiente (ENEA)
Italy
Address
Via Anguillarese 301
00060 Santa Maria Di Galeria Roma
GESELLSCHAFT FUER ANLAGEN- UND REAKTORSICHERHEIT (GRS) MBH
Germany
Address
Schwertnergasse 1
50667 Koeln
Organisme National des Déchets Radioactifs et des Matières Fissiles enrichies
Belgium
Address
1,Place Madou - Boites 24/25
1030 Bruxelles