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Assessment of Package Performance During Long-Term Storage of Intermediate-Level Radioactive Waste

[+] Author Affiliations
A. V. Chambers, W. R. Rodwell, M. Kelly, A. R. Hoch, A. J. Baker

Serco Assurance, Hampshire, UK

Paper No. ICEM2003-4517, pp. 1837-1845; 9 pages
  • ASME 2003 9th International Conference on Radioactive Waste Management and Environmental Remediation
  • 9th ASME International Conference on Radioactive Waste Management and Environmental Remediation: Volumes 1, 2, and 3
  • Oxford, England, September 21–25, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division and Environmental Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3732-7 | eISBN: 0-7918-3731-9
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


In the UK, the need for the long-term management of intermediate-level radioactive wastes arises from the absence of an established deep disposal option. As a consequence there is a requirement to demonstrate the ‘passive safety’ of waste packages in stores over a necessarily lengthy period (perhaps 150 years or more). ‘Passive safety’ is taken here to imply that the waste packages themselves would remain safe without intervention; it is assumed however, that the store building and associated infrastructure would need to be actively maintained and that the store may need to be ventilated. Importantly, methods for waste storage also need to ensure that possible future options for disposal are not foreclosed. An extended period of storage suggests that emphasis will need to be placed by waste producers on understanding a number of issues such as: • the impact of corrosion on container integrity; • the assessment of container vents and other features as a pathway for the release of radioactivity; • the extent to which wastes are conditioned for storage and the selection of appropriate methods; • the generation and behaviour of toxic or flammable gases in the storage facility; and the mitigating steps that might be needed to address adverse impacts (e.g. the type of ventilation that the store requires). In this paper, we review the requirements and current state of knowledge relevant to the assessment of operational releases of radioactive, flammable and toxic gases from wastes in long-term interim storage.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME



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