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Characterization of Radioactive Waste From Side Structural Components of a CANDU Reactor for Decommissioning Applications in Korea

[+] Author Affiliations
Rizwan Ahmed, Gyunyoung Heo

Kyung Hee University, Daejeon, Korea

Dong-Keun Cho, Jongwon Choi

Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Daejeon, Korea

Paper No. ICEM2010-40201, pp. 427-433; 7 pages
doi:10.1115/ICEM2010-40201
From:
  • ASME 2010 13th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management
  • ASME 2010 13th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management, Volume 1
  • Tsukuba, Japan, October 3–7, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division and Environmental Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5452-5 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3888-4
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME

abstract

Reactor core components and structural materials of nuclear power plants to be decommissioned have been irradiated by neutrons of various intensities and spectrum. This long term irradiation results in the production of large number of radioactive isotopes that serve as a source of radioactivity for thousands of years for future. Decommissioning of a nuclear reactor is a costly program comprising of dismantling, demolishing of structures and waste classification for disposal applications. The estimate of radio-nuclides and radiation levels forms the essential part of the whole decommissioning program. It can help establishing guidelines for the waste classification, dismantling and demolishing activities. ORIGEN2 code has long been in use for computing radionuclide concentrations in reactor cores and near core materials for various burn-up-decay cycles, using one-group collapsed cross sections. Since ORIGEN2 assumes a constant flux and nuclide capture cross-sections in all regions of the core, uncertainty in its results could increase as region of interest goes away from the core. This uncertainty can be removed by using a Monte Carlo Code, like MCNP, for the correct calculations of flux and capture cross-sections inside the reactor core and in far core regions. MCNP has greater capability to model the reactor problems in much realistic way that is to incorporate geometrical, compositional and spectrum information. In this paper the classification of radioactive waste from the side structural components of a CANDU reactor is presented. MCNP model of full core was established because of asymmetric structure of the reactor. Side structural components of total length 240 cm and radius 16.122 cm were modeled as twelve (12) homogenized cells of 20 cm length each along the axial direction. The neutron flux and one-group collapsed cross-sections were calculated by MCNP simulation for each cell, and then those results were applied to ORIGEN2 simulation to estimate nuclide inventory in the wastes. After retrieving the radiation level of side structural components of in- and ex-core, the radioactive wastes were classified according to the international standards of waste classification. The wastes from first and second cell of the side structural components were found to exhibit characteristics of class C and Class B wastes respectively. However, the rest of the waste was found to have activity levels as that of Class A radio-active waste. The waste is therefore suitable for land disposal in accordance with the international standards of waste classification and disposal.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME

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