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Storage of Weapon Plutonium Waste


Development of quantitative criteria of suitability of rock massif for safe long-term storage of waste from weapon Plutonium production illustrated by the underground mining working at Krasnoyarsk Integrated Mining and Chemical Works.

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-RWT/Radioactive Waste Treatment/Environment

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Tyurin I A

Leading Institute
VNIPI Promtechnology, Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • Mining and Chemical Complex, Russia, Krasnoyarsk reg., Zheleznogorsk\nInternational Scientific Center on the Environment, Russia, Moscow


  • CEA / DCC / CEN Cadarache, France, Cadarache\nBritish Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL) / Brussel's Office, Belgium, Brussels

Project summary

The project purpose is a development of quantitative criteria of rock massif suitability for safe long-term storage of wastes from weapon plutonium production, illustrated by Krasnoyarsk Integrated Mining and Chemical Works.

The scientific and practical tasks include experimental substantiation of allowable parameters of the rock massif destruction for safe isolation of solidified radwastes on the basis of probability analysis for safe storage, substantiation of suitability of sites of rock massif or underground facilities for safe long-term storage of solidified radwaste from weapon plutonium production on the basis of field investigations.

The work on the project includes:

- setting up of geodesic and mine surveying observations over geodynamic processes at complicated tectonic sites in the area of mine workings and on the surface;

- investigation of dynamics of hydrogeological conditions;

- forecasting of heat transfer based on the development of temperature conditions in the massif for the whole period of operation;

- experimental observations of strained-stressed state of rocks and support under real operational conditions of the underground object.

- probability analysis of possible radionucleides spreading under varied conditions of origin and development of emergency priorities in the underground depository of radwaste;

- scientific-technical substantiation of monitoring of rock massif and underground facilities aimed at long-term storage of solidified radwaste.

Performance of scientific tasks of the project and implementation of the proposed solutions will provide safe conditions for operation of ujjdeigaiund facilities withdisposed radwaste in accordance with international environmental requirements to similar objects, to make a significant contribution to the solution of extremely important task-isolation of solidified radwaste in geological formations.

The project will use the potential and the knowledge of scientists and engineers earlier involved in the research and production of weapon materials.

Expected results: Scientific importance of the project comes out of analysis of the experience of long-term operation of underground storage facility (under effect of several heat sources), intended for disposal of waste from ecologically dangerous production of nuclear fuel cycle and development forecasting methods and criteria for safe radwaste disposal in the rock massif under the influence of mining pressure and temperature, geodynamic processes. The methodology of assessment of structural-tectonic blocks for evaluation of geologic sites for storage and final deposition of radwastes in deep geological formations will essentially rely on the practical observations at Krasnoyarsk Integrated Mining and Chemical Works. In addition, new data will be obtained in the course of experimental program of the project.

Technical Approach and Methodologyr: The goals of the project can be attained by applying the research methods from geomechanics,hydrogeology, geophysics, mining technology, thermal physics and geoecology. Distinctive feature of the proposed activities are its direct addressing to the problems of the particular facility and attempt to generalize the accumulated experience for the benefit of other interested institutions.

The planned research activities will consist of:

- analytical investigations, including generalisation of the experience of object operation, results of experimental investigations, archives and fund materials, determination of main analytical relationships between the state and properties of rocks and parameters of physical fields, shifts, deformations and hydrogeological regime of underground waters;

- ield observations of the massif state and underground workings by methods of mine surveying, geodesy, geophysics, geomechanics and hydrogeology;

- investigation oflhe massif structure by geological methods;

- computer and numerical modelling of stress-deformation state of rocks, shift processes and heat-and mass transfer in close and distant zone with regard to tectonic disturbance of the massif, stress and deformation fields, heat- and mass transfer conditions;

- Probabilistic methods for estimation and forecasting of risk of natural barriers destabilization and ecological risk of radionuclide distribution.

The order of application of each investigation method, methods of observations andtheir content is envisaged in accordance with work programs for every stage.

Possible Role of Foreign Partners:

Discussion of results, planning of research activities.


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